Face Shift, 2005 (c) Arthur Elsenaar

Arthur Elsenaar
*1962 in Naarden
lives in the Netherlands

Artifacial expression is an art and research project that investigates the computer-controlled human face as a medium for kinetic art and develops algorithms for facial choreography. Small precisely controlled electrical impulses are employed to trigger the facial muscles of a live human person into r endering involuntary expressions. As the human face is controlled by a digital computer instead of a neural brain, it can be made to perform in unexpected ways, bringing together dance and technology in the most direct way imaginable. In this algorithmic facial choreography piece, both sides of the face are controlled by identical algorithms, but one is slightly faster, over time creating visual shifting patterns from symmetry to asymmetry (and back again). Over the duration of the facial dance piece, the execution of the algorithms is accelerated. Two DECtalk voice synthesis machines are deployed on each side of the face, calling out the identification numbers of the activated muscles.