WestminsterResearch

Cover story

Wright, Alexa (2006) Cover story. In: Making Faces , 05 - 30 Sep 2006, The Forum, Norwich.

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Official URL: http://www.makingfaces.org.uk

Abstract

Interactive digital video installation that explores the potential impact of face transplants on appearance and identity. Other relevant details: This research project explores the facial expression of human identity. Cover Story draws on 'real life' experiences of people with facial differences and questions what the idea of living without a viable face means. This three-part video installation examines the role of the face in human communication and dynamically investigates the implications of a face that cannot express identity or emotion. Controversial issues relating to facial appearance and loss of facial identity are here raised in accessible and non-threatening ways suitable to a public site cutting across art, science and public contexts. The installation was derived from research into the experience and science of facial disfiguration conducted with leading experts including interviews with women with severe facial disfigurements, cosmetic plastic surgeons and transplant teams. The interactive element of the installation involved innovative facial modelling using specially developed software. The project involved technical research into the creation of a real-time interactive avatar and technical support from UCL, with some advice from University of Surrey. First seen in the context of a publicly sited art/science exhibition and especially created for BA Festival of Science 2006, the Cover Story installation offers new and accessible ways of thinking about face transplants, a contentious issue in medical science. The project has been presented in different forms: a gallery installation (Norwich, 2006, three artist show - commissioned alongside Keith Piper and Simon Tegala with grant from Wellcome Trust), a forthcoming exhibition at Fotofestival, Zaragoza, Spain, (2008); a conference presentation (University of Toronto, 2007). The project has led to ongoing collaboration with Royal Free Plastic Surgery Unit to document a patient’s experience of a face transplant.

Item Type:Show/Exhibition
Additional Information:A 3-part interactive video installation (approx 6m x 3 m). 'Making Faces' exhibition at The Forum, Norwich, group show (three artists: Keith Piper, Simon Tegalla, Alexa Wright) commissioned for British Association Festival of Science 2006.
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:4800
Deposited On:07 May 2008 14:45
Last Modified:31 Jul 2012 10:53

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