“Storytelling is both the seductive siren and the safe haven that encourages the connection with the feared “other.” How we relate to stories and storytelling can be seen as an acid-test for empathy” PJ Manney(2008).
Artist: Georgie Pinn
Creative producer:Kendyl Rossi
"ECHO" focuses on connection through the empathy of personal storytelling and shared identity.
The iterative, interactive installation has been touring internationally in 2018 to events such as Pause festival, Australia, ISEA, S. Africa and Ars Electronica, Austria.The latest installation resides at the Volkswagen gallery, Drive in Berlin, supported by Ars Electronica and curated by Manuela Naveau.
The show runs until April 2019
The activations in Melbourne and South Africa have been worthy research tools to examine how and why people connect and if empathy with a stranger is possible through technology. Above are evaluation interviews with participants that experienced Echo. As I engaged, captured and edited these piecesI I realised that the effects of Echo linger beyond the booth experience, sharing with me intimate relational conversation and real life confessions .
"Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself" Mohsin Hamid 2016
The key intention of the ECHO experience is to generate empathy and connect people through shared identity and narrative. Situated inside a photo booth installation, the user is able to wear a deeply personal experience with another. How do we feel when someone blinks with our eyes, smiles with our lips or speaks with our tongue?
As the world becomes more complex and digitally connected, the role of empathy is becoming increasingly important as an antidote to personal loneliness and an ideological isolation. Echo is an immersive, iterative artwork that combines touch screen, facial tracking technology with animation, storytelling, and portraiture to highlight intersections between strangers. In doing so the installation is able to build and share an embodied archive of cross-cultural experience that elicits compassion.The experience is exciting, confronting and entirely immersive as the participant becomes the subject matter of the artwork.
The first stage of Echo was developed as a 3 month artist residency project, commissioned by the Cube, QUT.
Echo has also been funded by Fed Square and Arts Queensland and is now travelling internationally as an iterative project collecting, archiving and sharing human stories across creed, race, culture, and nation states.