InterFace Portrait #2 is an interactive video installation based on gestural-tactile interaction with a simulated character (played by the artist himself). It attempts to create an expressive dialogue between the interactor and the work, an interactive experience that is about communication rather than control, surprise rather than determinacy, and ultimately about intimacy.
InterFace Portraits take the term “Interface”, very literally, at face value. It is an interactive face inside a touch screen, made up of a database of over a hundred individual video shots, and of an algorithm that plays those shots in response to its developing interpretation of an interactor’s behaviour. While it could be viewed also as a looping video portrait, it is interaction that brings out the various aspects of the portrait’s character (or is it the character’s portrait?)
A person can interact with the face by performing certain gestures on the touch screen that displays the portrait. As a result, the portrait will react, depending initially on the nature and location of the gesture, by indicating whether it considers the gesture pleasing or annoying.
As the session progresses, the accumulation of gestures will affect the face's mood. If, furthermore, the resulting mood is maintained for a while, the face will develop an attitude towards the interactor. This attitude change will alter the face's reactions. If it has developed trust, the face will tolerate some unfortunate gestures. If, however, it is mistrust or fear that have developed, the face will not easily be pacified.
InterFace Portrait #2 is a self-standing adaptation of the interface component of the 2004 installation "have I Lost My Plot", which used it as an interface for storytelling.