Louie’s Soul-Sucking Mirror

Louie’s Soul-Sucking Mirror is a futuristic antique; a mirror which sucks your soul and traps your image when you look into it. The reflected image is a combination of the actual optical reflection, Louie’s trapped soul, and a delayed echo of previous viewers of the piece.

The idea is based on a short story about a socially-awkward man named Louie who falls in love with a girl, and is so afraid of losing her that he tries to capture her soul in a magic mirror.

The mirror is mounted on the wall at eye level. Installed next to it is Louie’s story, on a sheet of paper.

The hardware is made up of an LCD monitor covered with a piece of see-through mirror acrylic and framed so that it appears to be a conventional mirror. On top of this is a tiny camera aiming directly in front of the screen, targeting whoever is looking at the piece. The camera only records when someone is in front of it, so a viewer’s soul will stay trapped in the mirror until someone else looks at it and takes his place. The computer-generated imagery is warped using vector fields based on the activity captured by the camera, creating a dream-like, supernatural ambience.

The software is written for Mac OS X using C++/openFrameworks.

Louie’s Soul-Sucking Mirror was created by Elie Zananiri in November 2008.

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