14/Jun 2004 2 min. read

Custom Java software used in the 2003 “Face-scape” installation in collaboration with Yoko Takashima. Rewritten in 2004, the second version was exhibited at the Thailand New Media Festival 2004. yoFace adds images to each other and allows for dynamic image to be built that is the sum of all of its parts.

yoFace is a custom Java application that “mixes” images and “soundscapes”. yoFace was originally used to mix images of faces, hence the name. This software is unique in that it doesn’t “morph” from one image to another but continually creates a new, unique face by “adding” one face (from a database of representative faces) to the existing face. The first version of the software was written in only two months from scratch.

yoFace version 1 was used in an interactive installation called “face-scape” designed by Yoko Takashima that explores race, sex, age and artistic-style preferences. This installation used an electronic questionaire to poll the audience so that a composite of the audiences choices was created. By leaving the installation active is a specific location an “average” representation of the audience was reflected back.

Screenshot from face-scape

The second version of yoFace was almost a complete rewrite and was used for an installation in the Thailand New Media Festival in 2004. This installation focused more a rapid mixing of the faces of tourists with local Thai faces. I was interested in exploring the differences I felt between Khao San road in Bangkok and the small rural Thai village I lived in. I also explored more radical ways of mixing faces that resulted in bizarre “mutants” or hybrids. These mixings and the addition of many Thai faces also helped explore the bizarre experience of culture specific beauty. For example, in Thailand I had many of the features that were considered desirable, but in Canada I was just a typical white male.

Example average face of combined male and female faces after a number of hours of running yoFace

A short video demonstrating the final version of the software:

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