BU’s very own Artist in Residence and Lecturer in the Media School, Susan Sloan, recently had her exhibition of motion capture portraits displayed on The Wall at The Photographers Gallery in London. Susan’s work raises issues in terms of data object relations and computer animation – or ‘animatography’.
Using motion capture data as the core material, Susan’s work explores the portrait through the medium of animation, focusing on the simple gestures and movements of her subjects. Framed as a single shot and composed around the head and torse of the sitter, the work refers to the traditions and conventions of portraiture, but raises questions concerning the convergence of painting, animation and photography.
Susan’s Me and Mrs Sloan (2007) – pictured above – explores data object relations in the form of a motion captured portrait of her mother synthesized with motion captured movement by herself. It is a work about the potential space itself. In this instance, Susan has modelled the head and upper torso of her mother, in 3-D animation software, and then animated the head and shoulders, based on subtle motion captured material of herself. In this way, the data object is her mother combined with herself in terms of the motion captured material. It is Sloan’s work, and therefore the dialogue with what is ‘not-me’ is a fascinating one. The motion captured material is also ‘not-my-mother’, and instead it is a record of Sloan’s slight movements. A full review of Susan’s show is available here.