Graduate Program Director, Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design, Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada
The work series InterFaced and Thick Friendship speak to a body of research considering emotional and synthetic consciousness and particularly the digital facial expressions of emotions. It is suggested that emotional consciousness expressed through the face can serve as a good model for understanding human consciousness. Gesture, touch and feeling were explored through a creative studio project that included a digital database, sensory computing, and 3D print technology. The body of work reflects on new materiality, digital touch, and new surfaces that derive from digital visualization techniques: in particular 3D rapid prototyping. For both bodies of works depicted here, the faces were not created from scratch but built up from a combination of digital scans of people and taxidermy animals. The data was manipulated with a haptic sculpting tool to emphasize some features and emotional expressions for clarity. It was this hands-on manipulation of the hybrid expression that became a focus point for the research of synthetic facial expressions. The overall contribution of the body of work discussed here is an exploration of emotional creativity and meaningful synthetic aesthetics through a translation of the digital hybrid image into an object with material and physical qualities.
Dr. Barbara Rauch is a Digital Futures Initiative hire in a tenure-track position at Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Graduate Studies. Rauch is the Graduate Program Director for the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Art, Media and Design. She is the Director of the e_Motion Research Project in the Digital Media Research and Innovation Institute, researching the development of emotion with the facilitation of data analysis, 3D printing, sculpting, and 3D surface analysis. The goal of the lab is to designate an alternative format of acknowledging research by instigating discourse around the topic of emotion in artistic practice. Situated in an academic and interdisciplinary research-led environment, the research group considers the studio a geographic and emotional location in which process and production takes place. Through practice-led research, the team connects current studio practices to reflexive visual analysis as a transformative research methodology.