GOAL: She creates art in the interaction medium that explores the connections between physical bodies and the representational systems of the digital realm interfaces. Basically she is comparing physical reality to abstract ideas by merging the two.
PROCESS: She starts by writing her own software and designing interfaces, allowing her to detach from commercially based products. Using video tracking software, she engages whole bodies with response to spatial relations. In an attempt to engage people both emotionally (with painting) and viscerally (using the interactive aspect), she creates poetic and aesthetically pleasing relationships between the real and virtual. She believes her work is pertinent to issues with virtual reality and general relationships with our machines.
BACKGROUND: Though she started with formal training from Williams College, she got her masters at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her work is a merger of the two mediums.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Camille has received several grants and awards such as the Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship. Her art has been exhibited all over the world, including in NY and the NTT Intercommunication Center in Tokyo.
CURRENTLY: Camille Utterback currently teaches media art at Parson’s School of Design and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. Also, she owns a company called Creative Nerve Inc. where she works with another artist, Adam Chapman, to develop permanent installations for commercial and museum settings. They receive commissions from organizations such as Pittsburg Children’s Museum, The American Museum of Natural History in NY, and the Herman Miller Furniture Co.
1.) An installation in 2001 at the American Museum of Natural History called Drawing from Life makes people question individuality when presented with themselves as nothing more than a bunch of DNA codes.
2.) Untitled 5 is the 5th interactive installation in her External Measures Series. Her goal with this piece is to create an aesthetic system that responds fluidly using painterly, organic shapes to physical movement due to algorithmic technology.
3.) Text Rain was shown at the Herman Miller Showroom in Chicago. Letters from a poem about bodies and language fall like rain onto live video of people, stopped when they come into contact with a value darker than a certain threshold.
ADAM CHAPMAN: Camille Utterback’s partner with Creative Nerve Inc. Chapman is also an award winning artist as well as writer and designer. He has done projects with PBS, HBO documentaries, The Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, etc. designing various visual effects. Similarly to Camille, Chapman works with relationships between abstract thought and emotion and that of machines or reality.
1.) Legible Nature is a realistic portrayal of Atlantic Grey gulls soaring above you, but when they converge in the center of the screen, they form discrete letters. Those letters spell out poems (much as text rain did) from the Manyoshu, which is a diverse collection of 8th centenary Japanese poems that deal with the fleeting beauty of nature. The piece takes 200 days to spell out the entire collection. The goal of this work, according to Chapman, was to represent fate as an afterthought.
2.) Emotional Machines: Nothing (Without You) does not use video tracking software as most of Chapman and Utterback’s other work, in fact it is an inanimate and cold box. However, the piece does deal with the comparison between technology and emotion as well as nature. Basically, when the participant touches the simple box it lights up and begins to breath, moan, and pulse. It deals with societies personification of technology.