Ars Electronica 2000
Festival-Website 2000
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Festival 1979-2007


Face à Face
The Interactive Landscape

'Catherine Ikam Catherine Ikam

In my work I am exploring the concept of identity and artificiality, the notion of self and otherness in terms of the relationship between real space and the virtual word. Since 1992, my partner Louis Fleri and I have created 3D characters with realistic human faces. Those characters interact in real time with visitors in virtual reality installations according to the analogue and random behavioural patterns we gave to them.

The purpose of our work is to design and to build the illusion of an emotional encounter with a human-like artefact. In spite of the fact, or perhaps because of the fact that we know it is an artefact, we feel an emotional response to it. What we are mainly interested in is how other people react to it.

How do they react to each other through a hybrid mechanical and human interface? We would like to explore the issues of emotion and interactivity, of presence/absence. How do we become emotionally involved when we interact in real time with 3D characters?

What kind of behavioural patterns do we have to give them to build the illusion that they have autonomy, intentionality and agency?


Realized within the Ars Electronica Research & Residency Program 2000 with support of l’Institut Image ENSAM, Cluny.