'Modelcards' has its roots in a project I worked on a project in Fabrica (www.fabrica.it) for an exhibition at the museum of the moving image in New York (www.motmi.com) called DARE (www.fabrica.it/dare). I created two pieces for this exhibition, GRID and FACE. FACE allowed visitors to grab a snapshot of themselves and be added to the end of a sequence that showed everyone who had gone before. The images formed the artwork and people used this tool to create narrative sequences, dance moves and comedic gestures. When I moved to SHOW we took FACE and placed it into the front window at Liberty's department store which allowed 24 access and also recorded the images in portrait.
‘Modelcards' takes the simple, automated sequence from FACE but replaces the single snapshot with a 45 second video. A model steps into the booth and presses a button to begin. They must then check their appearance and position on camera. Once satisfied they can begin the recording in which they are prompted by a spoken voice to answer questions about their physical statistics. When the video has finished recording the model is then free to go and the videos are automatically uploaded to our site. Stylists and photographers are then able to view the models over the internet within minutes of them being recorded. While still retaining the basic information of a standard card the short video allows the model to convey some of their personality and attitude.
It's a project that's been kicking around on my computer for a while soit will be interesting for me to see it running and watch how people interact with it. Paul Bruty, our chief designer, has built a great housing for it which makes it much more pleasurable to use than sitting down at my computer. The arcade buttons are particularly sweet. The main problem we have at the moment is the sound quality as the room is very badly isolated but it should be sufficient for the first few run throughs.