The human face is the ultimate device for communication among people. Entire conversations can be had without the utterance of a single word. Face Forward is a large metal representation of the front of an androgynous human face, in which each of the major fascia muscles which is responsible for conveying some fragment of the totality of a facial expression is individually controlled by one of a series of levers which are arrayed in an arc, mounted on the ground, approximately 30 feet in front of the face. Individual members of the festival-going public may operate individual levers (or two at a time, if participant/operator density allows) and play their part in the orchestration of an ongoing “river” of facial expressions.
Face Forward is also an exercise in group dynamics. It offers the possibility of collective striving to achieve something which, when seen, will be immediately recognizable to the entire group, and therefore immediately satisfying. At the same time, it offers infinite and un-ending possibilities for chance and fleeting gestures and expressions which may be recognizable and even rewarding to a select few participants. In this way it offers the possibility for individuals within the group to have their own private moments of recognition and “value”, apart from the group.
Face Forward has exhibited at:
- Burning Man 2011
- Maker Faire Bay Area, May 2011
- Google IO, San Francisco, California, June 2012
- Baltimore Artscape, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2012
- VOODOO Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 2012
And is scheduled to show at the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, in 2013.