Interactive Shop Front Teases Passersby

Niklas Roy's <i>À Louer / For Rent</i> modifies an empty shop front window using a surveillance camera and a computerized tracking system.

No one can resist peeking into a shop window when they're strolling past, but these days you're more likely to be staring into an empty space than a shop full of products. Niklas Roy's latest installation À Louer / For Rent modifies an empty shop front window to arouse people's curiosity and add a little fun into the depleted occupancies of a town's main strip.

Similar to his My Little Piece of Privacy installation which saw nosy people trying to look into an old store front only to be thwarted by a moving curtain, this interactive piece is a modified version of that. It features a "For Rent" sign in an empty window on a street in Sherbrooke, Canada which blocks people from looking into the shop, following them around as they try to evade it.

The piece was shown as part of Sherbrooke’s Media Art Biennial. "Sherbrooke’s downtown has many abandoned shop fronts." notes Roy. "My installation was set up in one of them. And as nobody likes to stroll in roads with empty shop windows, I wanted to do this retail space a favour and help it to find a new tenant who can care about it."

The piece works by having a surveillance camera set up on the outside of the building while a computer tracks passersby and obstructs their view as they walk past.

The shop 

Photos: Niklas Roy


[via Prosthetic Knowledge]