In this paper, we present a set of artworks that explore the use of face tracking and facial expressions detection techniques in interactive artworks. More specifically, we ask how can we communicate sensations and emotional states, in non‑verbal ways, to others, ourselves, things, or even places? Under the assumptions that facial gestures could constitute a window to somebody’s emotion, we constructed different art pieces and interactive prototypes that comprise different communication channels (haptic, visual, aural), and aim to help reflecting on communication itself, its poetry, and ourselves. The presented artworks are:
- Facial Pentatonic and Face Sounds: two musical instruments that map the users’ face onto sounds. Sound production is triggered by the user’s mouth, while the head position and facial expressions modify the sounds parameters (pitch, timbre, etc.).
- Look at me – an installation that explores the need for attention, as well as vibration‑based feedback. It constitutes of a device that attempts to force interactors to look at it, attempting to subvert the power relationship between the observed and the observant, between consumer and product.
- Traces – a work in progress, Traces is an interactive installation consisting in a room with closed‑eyes faces projected on its walls. A short while after an interactor enters the room, his or her blinking triggers a snapshot and the interactor’s is added to the collection of projected faces. The room shows its users are being seen, but not seeing. Traces reflects on our relationship with physical spaces, more specifically asks: is a place changed by our presence? What traces do we leave? These works were created by the paper’s author while performing a research internship at Microsoft Research.
- Tomas Laurenzo, UY, is an artist, designer, researcher and engineer, born and based in Montevideo, Uruguay. He works as Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department of Universidad de la República (UDELAR) University, being the Director of the Engineering School’s Media Lab. He holds a Master of Science, a Computer Engineer degree and a Bachelors in Computer Science degree. His Masters thesis has been considered a pioneering work in Uruguay. He is a PhD candidate, advised by Dr. Franco Robledo (UDELAR) and Dr. Alvaro Cassinelli (University of Tokyo). He has publications in the areas of art, HCI, Software Engineering and Mobile Robotics; his artworks and performances have been shown and awarded locally and internationally.
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