Grand Mutual Smiles

Grand Mutual Smiles is a two-way interactive installation that communicates between two parties through the exchange of images of smiling faces. Using cameras equipped with smile detection software, progressively captured pictures of smiling people are displayed on screens at the installation sites. At each site, people can see the accumulated smiles of local visitors as well as the smiles from the other remote location.

The motivation is to encourage users to communicate across the Internet in a non-verbal and humoristic way — by smiling.

The project was originally commissioned by the City of Linz and Ars Electronica for the Linz European Cultural Capital 2009 festivities. It presented two real-time updating sets of people’s faces at each of the locations – Linz, Austria and Thimphu, Bhutan.