Georgie P

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Echo – The Empathy Engine

ECHO is an interactive, immersive installation that focuses on empathy through portraiture, narrative cutting edge facial tracking.

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I am an artist that uses real-time facial tracking, animation, sound, and personal storytelling to generate empathy and connection.

Echo is an immersive, booth-based installation/experience where the viewer becomes the subject. The installation acts as a screen based virtual mirror capturing the user’s face and combining it with the face of a storyteller.

As a stranger’s confessional narrative unfolds the user’s face is hi-jacked, the viewer sees their face speaking with someone else’s words and expressions. The experience induces empathy in an emotional and provocative way, allowing you to step into the shoes of a complete stranger.

I intend to tour the project nationally and internationally, collecting and archiving stories from a culturally diverse range of people. I intend to launch the work at Pause Festival in February 2018, Federation Square. The timeline would need to commence from December through to February when Pause Festival begins.

The role of empathy is becoming increasingly important in enabling connection and compassion as an antidote to a growing sense of personal loneliness and an ideological isolation. Narrative combined with immersive technology are powerful tools to generate connection between people and break down prejudices.

The project has been accepted as a major work for Pause festival and Federation Square’s creative program. The bespoke software has already been developed for this project and it has been tested at Robotronica and the Cube, QUT, Brisbane. The funds I am requesting would contribute to the design and construction of a portable booth that can house the project.

Once the booth is built the installation would then be able to tour regionally, interstate and even internationally at festivals such as ISEA and Ars Electronica.

The donation would be used for the design and materials necessary to build a portable, lightweight, foldable photo booth that can house the experience and travel. The end result would be a confessional/photo style booth that can also house the technology on one side. The structure needs to support the weight of a touch screen, laptop, webcam, sound, and lighting.

The original booth was made from an Aluminium frame and large pieces of Corflute, however, this was not transportable and time-consuming to set up. Here is a video link to the original work which was exhibited as part of Robotronica Festival in Brisbane.

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I am a multimedia artist with 17 years of experience working as a director and producer of film, animation, sound composition and public cultural events. My creative practice is underpinned by my long-term research into empathy as a creative force for making connection across cultural, age and gender divides.

My interactive motion tracking projects have been presented in public sites such as Federation Square, Artplay, the MCG, Robotronica and Melbourne Fashion Week. I have also developed and delivered a range of interactive shows and workshops with a focus on education.

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