I have made a ‘talking picture’, a proof of concept for ‘Giving the Model a Voice’. This now resides in our MA Fine Art Digital studio at Camberwell. It is planned to be displayed at the ‘pop up’ show during our upcoming Low Residency later this month.
It is a canvas 4 feet by 3 feet called ‘Unrequited Love’. The viewer is invited into the woman’s private thoughts by touching parts of her image. Seven thoughts are there to be revealed (analogous to ‘the dance of the seven veils’).
The painting is of Michel Canetti’s ‘Red Lips’ of which I already have a framed print. I wanted to learn how to paint in this minimalist style using conductive paint. Areas of the canvas have to be isolated so that when you touch each one a selected narrative is played. My final work ‘Giving the Model a Voice’ will be of my life model Vanessa, in the same style but twice as large. Life Size.
My work ‘Unrequited Love’ will eventually end up in my daughters keeping as she loved it – but without the voices as they are recordings my wife (an actress) made, and my daughter thought that would be ‘weird’ in her bedroom!
You can listen to the recordings below. So go ahead. ‘Touch’ and listen to the emotions and thoughts of this heartbroken woman. She is talking to YOU.
I hope you like it and are not too upset by what you have heard from someone who obviously loves you.
I have now also started work on a ‘Talking Sculpture’ as suggested by Prof Stephen Farthing when we last met. Again this will be of Vanessa in pose. Bill Dickinson who runs the Digital Fabrication Department at Central Saint Martins was most helpful. Their facilities are Amazing!
A sculpture is much more challenging technically. The ‘wiring’ for each narrative has to pass from the surface of the sculpture through its core to an Arduino microprocessor (in my case the Bare Conductive’ Touch Board’) hidden in its base, and from there to a speaker system hidden in the pedestal on which it stands.
More on this later in a future blog.