INTERACTIVE PORTRAIT SERIES, Original Installation September 19—21, 2018 @ the Ugly Duck,  47/49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL
Projection Mapping • Live Feed • Responsive Media • Collage • Photography • Design

With the aid of projection mapping and live video feed, the Assembly of Self integrates the viewer into a series of interactive collages. The installation is comprised of six dynamic character portraits that exemplify familiar societal archetypes. The observer becomes the observed, and the individual transforms into an ensemble.

The Assembly of Self uses the human form as a palette, and gestural language as a medium. The parameters of Space, Weight, and Time form the matrix through which the motion of each portrait has been choreographed, according to the 8 Basic Efforts as laid out by modern dance pioneer and movement theorist Rudolf Laban.  
// Artist Statement

We see ourselves as fully fleshed individuals — protagonists in our own stories — while those around us remain simply surface-level characters. Their personalities are magnified and we categorise them accordingly.

But the self is not so solid. We slide into and out of archetypes and caricatures as it suits us in our daily pursuits. Gatherings of individuals become a brand new grouped self, and we adopt the postures of our peers. This is a remarkable thing, powerful, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous. Consider this, and the agency of “I” as you experience the Assembly of Self.

the Artist

You see your craft as an altruistic service. Mayhaps you believe you are a martyr, stretching yourself across your work, laying your soul bare. Your vanity may show itself more readily than you’re aware. You are in all that you do. Always making, all who assosciate with you are threaded into the tapestry of your canvas.

Take pride in what you create, but do not eclipse your own abstractions

the Child

You embody innocence. You brighten a dark world. An empty shell filled with potential, you may live in naive bliss, unaware of the dangers at your door. You can be easly manipulated because of your undying trust. You take risks in order to learn.

Live joyfully and freely, with an eye on the future. Someday you’ll emerge from your shell, but for now you are fragile and should take care.

the Shepherd

You carry and care for the flock. They see all that you do, absorbing your words and actions. You are not one, you are many. All cognition is filtered like smoke through your unyielding beliefs.

Carry yourself with grace, but don’t float away. 

the Politician

You are the essence of duality. Your words are confident but sometimes vague for the sake of pleasing the many. One hand holds a friend, while the other grasps an enemy. Are you sure you know which is which?

Lead with vision; it might be easier if you’re looking in one direction instead of two.

the Refugee

You are lost. Adrift, not by your own hand. Searching for solidity in a fluid environment, you face challenges the likes of which most have not seen. Your world is flipped upside-down and you are forced to tread water. You are brave, but exhausted.

Remember you cannot grasp water, and you cannot truly own land. Hold on to your loved ones as tightly as you can until you are on solid ground.

the Activist

You are fiery and brazen in your journey. You’re a fighter for your vision of what is right. Your bombastic and passionate approach may revile some, but you take pride in your mission, as you should. But don’t go awarding yourself ribbons. It’s not the purpose of your work.

Find time for self-awareness and ensure you’re doing what it is you say you do before you begin a war. It takes more than a hashtag.

Installation & Structural Details
The Assembly of Self is installed on a self-built, transportable structure that keeps the artwork separate for mounting on-site, allowing me to avoid damage in the moving process.

The structure is comprised of 3 panels that hinge forwards,  on top of a slightly raised platform, in front of which the viewer stands, facing the artwork and live video feeds. I used lightweight materials (balsa wood, foam core) with reinforcement so the structure could be stable yet easily installed. 
Besides serving the utilitarian purpose of showcasing the work, the physicality of standing before this sizeable triptych is a notable part of the experience. It’s scale is meant to aid in bringing viewers out of their single “self” and open to the concept of a larger group conscious. The three panels create a shape reminiscent of many religious iconographic pieces assembled in a similar way. This adds some gravitas to the work, giving the appearance of precious, centuries old frescos and folding screens, but in the context of new media installation.

the Assembly of Self 

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