Facial expressions convey the emotional state of an individual and are the primary means of conveying social information between humans. Facial recognition is often an emotional experience for the brain and the amygdala is highly involved in the recognition process. The universality hypothesis is the assumption that certain facial expressions are signals of specific emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust) that are recognized by people everywhere, regardless of culture or languages.

The public interactive installation FACE IT displays and exposes local people in a communicative setting where they are able to interact with faces of themselves or of other participants and at the same time become creative players and the stars of the artwork. This interactive situation not only creates a strong interplay between facial expressions and body movements, it also enhances these expressions and in the very best moments it creates a unique nonverbal language.

FACE IT is a descendant of the interactive projection mapping DANCING HOUSE, which is shown since 2011 in different cities of Europe and South America. The installation in Brussels was a setup combined with DANCING HOUSE and was a first attempt to a bigger series of facial works involving local participants of certain cities or regions. 

Many of Klaus Obermaier's works are dealing with nonverbal communication and the manipulation of the human body and mind, like the interactive performances D.A.V.E. (1998), VIVISECTOR (2001), APPARITION (2004), LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS (2006), THE CONCEPT OF ... (2010) and recently TRANSCRANIAL (2014), a collaboration with Daito Manabe and Kyle McDonald for the RESONATE festival. Klaus Obermaier always worked on interactive installations too, starting with the laser and sound installation IMMATERIAUX (1991-1995).

Light.Move.Festival, Lodz / Poland
October 9 to 11, 2015

Figurentheater Festival Erlangen / Germany
Foyer of Markgrafen Theater
and Friedrich-Alexander-University
May 8 to 17, 2015

STRP Festival Eindhoven / The Netherlands
March 20/21 and 26/27/28, 2015

Premiere Location:
Festival des Lumières Bruxelles / Belgium
Canal Sainctelette
October 31 to November 3, 2013

height approx. 12m, width approx. 8m

Hardware and Software:
IR-camera, IR-light, Max, Video Projector, 

Artistic and Technical Assistant:
Stefano D’Alessio

Many thanks to Martina Tavella
for her incredible performance!

face IT
Klaus Obermaier — public interactive projection and sound installation