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Camille Utterback

Camille Utterback does art that is called interactive instillation. She’s an American Artist who got her BA in Art from Williams College and her Master’s from The Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She didn’t get into computer technology until after College. She was painting and doing odd jobs for a living until one day someone suggested that she get into the multi-media world, so she went to Graduate School.

Fellow artist, John Maeda, is a daily inspiration to Camille. Both of their works have concepts of reactive graphics, typography, and interactive text. In Camille’s statement, she describes her work as a connection between a physical body and the digital realm. Her work consists of some sort of computer-generated graphics that interacts with the viewer’s physical presence. For example, in her work called Text Rain, the text falls and stops when it hits the shadow of the viewer. By putting a hand out, the audience can stop the text.

Camille’s work has been displayed in numerous galleries, festivals, and museums in many different cities and a few different countries. Her work has been mentioned in various books also including Christiane Paul’s Digital Art. In this book, Paul doesn’t mention much about Camille’s work. The section in which she is mentioned is under the ‘beyond the book: text and narrative environments’ section. This is where Camille’s Text Rain is talked about in detail.

When looking at Camille’s work I was really drawn to her fifth interactive instillation from the External Measures Series. What it looks like is a large computer screen used much like a canvas with expressionist brush strokes. In front of this screen, there’s a square space that tracks the movement on that space and shows it on the screen. So when a person stands on the square, the screen will show these circles. When the viewer moves, the circles move causing the different colored brush strokes, and when the viewer stops moving or leaves the space, the circles try to go back to their original position that causes another colorful picture. I really liked how it was so interactive. Not only does the viewer get to look at the interesting picture, but also they get to take part in how that picture changes.

After looking at Camille’s interactive instillations, it really makes me want to do something like her. I love the idea of taking the physical concept of painting and combining it with digital media. For my final in this 2D class, I’m kind of working of something similar in which the act of my drawing is shown in video. It would be really awesome if I could find out more and try to do something like Camille. Her work is just so interesting to me.

To look at Camille Utterback’s website, click on the following link: