Through my research into contemporary ideas of self, and contemporary strategies for representing selves through pictures, I've been playing with forms of cataloguing identity such as those used in law enforcement and health sciences. An example is a project I've been working on with a clinical psychologist playing with the psychotherapeutic dynamic as a parallel to portraiture.
Identify, Identity, Identikit (2012) played on the idea of civic identity and police surveillance. This work refers to the role of pictorial identification of individuals, through the face, as a testament to citizenship and belonging in a society. Pictures of faces persist as documents of identity on passports and licences - essentially, pictures of faces are licences allowing individuals to participate in a community. The residency saw 163 facial features donated by museum visitors, allowing 3.2 million faces to be made from these features.
The drawings from this residency helped me to make two projects which went on exhibition last year. One of Us (2012) was a series of photographs which was exhibited in Face Value at Annabel Wallace Gallery and in Die Sektions at E3 Art Space last year. Participants who came along and saw this work got a kick out of trying to find their facial features in the wall of photographs which stared back at them, creepily. Population 492 (2012) was also on show in Die Sektions and viewers would gather around in groups together trying to find each others eyes, eyebrows, noses and lips.
While One of Us and Population 492 were a success, I had an ongonig itch to turn the drawings from the Museum into a cohesive interactive work specific to the residency. I considered developing an installation or an interactive touch-screen-based work and realised that to do it properly I'd have to display it on a touch screen device loaded with a specially coded program. I could make or purchase a touch screen device but in the end I thought 'why not use the touch screen devices people carry with them all the time?'. As I was going to have to learn how to code, I decided to do it on a platform for a broad distribution. I originally expected the identikit to be an individual work for display, but now it's available for use by anyone with an an apple mobile device.
Hopefully soon it will be available for Android. Currently I don't know when that'll be as I don't have an Android device to test with at this stage but I hope to get onto it soon.