I came across a site tonight that hits on a lot of my interests. It’s got a nice mixture of art, technology, with just a hint of psychology.
I’ve been interested in pareidolia since I first learned about it years ago. It is, as wikipedia defines it, “the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.”
In this particular case, the objects are grains of sand and the incorrect perception is that they look like faces.
In the artwork Pareidolia* facial detection is applied to grains of sand. A fully automated robot search engine examines the grains of sand in situ. When the machine finds a face in one of the grains, the portrait is photographed and displayed on a large screen.
Check out Pareidolia, face detection on grains of sand.