A Sense of Self | Inkjet print | 2011
A Sense of Self | Inkjet print | 2011

Digital Self Portraits

A Sense of Self
Inkjet print
36″ x 50″

How does a computer understand touch? A Sense of Self 1 and 2 were created using Oblong’s G-Speak system, which responds to gestural input. Infrared cameras track reflective patches on gloves worn by the user. I wrote custom software for the system that allowed me to generate a digital drawing with my hands. Gesture and hand position control the quality of the line.  I then traced my hands over my body to create self-portraits (see process video below).  The resulting drawings reflect the inability of the computer to capture the intimacy of this experience. A bug in the program produces ghostly cocoons, devoid of depth.

This work was modeled on charcoal self portraits created by touch. To create these portraits, I closed my eyes and traced one hand over my body while drawing what I felt with the other hand.


















Self Portrait (Blind)
Charcoal on paper
18″ x 48″