Face.Age is a multi-media installation created from filmed cross-generational encounters. The installation places audiences within a synchronized, three-screen surround where younger (18-22) and older (70+) participants are seen studying, describing, and touching one another’s faces. A 45-minute loop of moving and still imagery forms a fluid space in which time can slow permitting a close study of faces rarely afforded in social settings. The installation creates a liminal territory that unhinges viewers from social circumstance and opens a loop of timeless human stories.

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Andy conceived Face.Age in 2012 and directed the pilot installation in collaboration with two filmmakers, a computer scientist, and a gerontologist.  The pilot installation received audience response far beyond expectations, attracting invitations from the National Science Institute of Taiwan, the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, and several other venues. Below is a trailer from the pilot installation:


The Face.Age team is now working on a full-scale project complete with community engagement components and a refined sense of artistic goals and components. Below is a trailer featuring samples of our Face.Age second iteration footage, which we are currently editing into a new installation to premiere in Spring 2016. 

The multi-screen installation is the project’s artistic centerpiece, and it forms the first stage of our work for this project. As we craft a new film loop of cross-generational interactions and biographic imagery, we are designing a surround of curved screens to hold the imagery in a spatial continuum. The installation experience will move viewers into and through the lives of the filmed participants aiming to be a potent, museum-ready artistic work compelling viewers toward participation in arts-based activities based on the cross-generational interactions they just witnessed.

The second stage of our work involves developing interactive features and programming for audiences exiting the installation. These activities include an interactive digital component allowing an older and younger person to morph faces between one another, speeding or slowing the aging process, and a booth for filming low-res versions of cross-generational encounters prompted by specific instructions, e.g. touching one another’s face, sharing what lives “behind” facial features, or partners interviewing each other about age and perceptions of aging.


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The culmination of the exhibition invites audiences to write about their Face.Age experience and empowers them with opportunities for cross-generational engagement within families and larger communities. We intend for the Face.Age interaction template of seeing, touch, and storytelling to become a useful tool for younger and older generations to see into a shared humanity.

The filmmakers—editor/director Dave Monahan and cinematographer Nate Daniel—remain with the project and are central to this funding proposal. Amy Lorek, Research and Outreach Associate with the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State, will create community engagement components. Cody Goddard, multi-media specialist at Penn State’s Institute for e-Learning will create digitally-based interactive components. 

Article about Face.Age - http://news.it.psu.edu/article/facing-age