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Intercepting portraits – Role of the viewer

Tentative project plan as of 20/2/2014:

Using Adobe Connect with 4-8 other participants, I will instruct them by designating them each to take a close up of one of their facial feature. The end result will be the combination of different facial features that has been arranged by me. Alternatively, they can also choose to rearrange the webcam in a way that the top half of their face merges with the bottom half of another user. Lastly, I will also grab a few screen shots and will either combine their features together, or replaced my facial features with theirs so my own identity is concealed as well. The aim is to deconstruct and blur their identity in a third space, and instead builds a collective being that signifies the collective identity over the net.

Role of the viewers:

The viewers are in fact the performers for the piece. They are free to interact with one another while following some basic rules. They are currently as followed:

1. Every 3 minutes, strive to conceal your true face in the composite under a certain set of conditions

2. Follows my set of conditions and take a photo of one of their facial feature

3. There are also timings when they are free to have fun generally. It will be ideal if their positions in Adobe Connect can be changed so they can interact with different users.

Other thoughts that I am still exploring at the moment:

Are there other ways I can deliver meaning or raise the interactivity through the instructions? For example, will it be interesting if I demand a condition instead of designating them a facial feature continuously? “Which part of your face do you dislike?” ”

Am I going to remove the sounds for everyone except myself? What will third space mean with the exclusion or inclusion of their own voice? Can I use their own sound as a tool for the project? Similarly, there are limitations of the connectivity over Adobe Connect that have to be taken into consideration.

One thought on “Intercepting portraits – Role of the viewer”

  1. Maybe you could consider projecting the final composite(s) onto your own face and do a performance with it! You could search for mapping tools like MadMapper or maybe free ones (e.g. VPT 7) and try playing around with them to see if you can do this. Through this way, you would be able to manipulate the static composite as something that moves and breathes! That’d be quite a sight to see! Together with VDMX, you might be able to perform realtime effects and distortions or switch between various sets of composites to really drive home your idea of the blurred identity.

    For the conditions you want to set for the viewers, have you perhaps considered allowing the viewers to choose the rules? (e.g. maybe allow users to give their input and selecting the most popular one?, using a poll, real-time chat to choose, etc).Or maybe you switch between getting them to follow what you want, and then later following what they want. You could possibly separate the documentation of this into two distinct streams (e.g. one can be a control and the other would be having no control over your audience for example )

    For Adobe Connect, why not ask all your friends to join maybe one of our sessions in class (with Randall’s permission of course) and maybe try to test out the mass photo-taking, and you can then orchestrate the whole “performance”. So instead of just the few of us, maybe there could be maybe 30 people or more all at once? That might make for a more complex looking “mutant” kind of aesthetic in your final output.

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