The ECAL students of the Bachelor Photography and Master Product Design present a series of interactive installations showing how mobile phone cameras and the selfie phenomenon changed the way we look at ourselves.
How can one create objects and installations around the portrait theme in this digital age? What means are available to disseminate these? How can one make visitors interact with the exhibits and turn viewers into the main actors in the exhibition?
Over a semester, 1st year Master Product Design students and 2nd year Bachelor Photography students from ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne worked on these issues with the aim to present their findings as part of an exhibition.
Under the watchful eye of Vincent Jacquier, Head of the Visual Communication Department, of designer Camille Blin and photographer Nicolas Haeni, the students were able to understand, using various approaches, how current – material or virtual – technology alters our traditional relationship with portraits, be they selfies or pictures of others.
Using modern media as well as more run-of-the-mill devices, exhibition visitors are invited to directly experiment the processes imagined by the students, allowing them to discover new interactive and fun ways of having their picture taken 3.0 style.
Based on this principle, the exhibition stages an installation playing with the visitor’s shadow; the combination of a mirror and scanner to create realistic or distorted self-portraits; an image which is altered through song; a tribute to famous departed designers through a system of filters placed in front of a smartphone; analogically merged faces; a 180° portrait produced by a range of reflective surfaces; a trompe-l’œil projection on a mask; a family of objects able to hijack the smartphone camera function to create original images; a poetic reinterpretation Instagram; and finally, self-portraits captured by the photo itself.
Images: ECAL/Nicolas Haeni