Interactive Art +

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions


Georgie Pinn (GB), Kendyl Rossi (CA)


The key intention of Echo is to create a vehicle for the exchange of empathy. As the world becomes more complex and digitally connected, the role of empathy is becoming increasingly important as an antidote to personal loneliness and an ideological isolation.

The iterative artwork Echo takes the form of an interactive booth installation. The work is relational and explores notions of connection through an interactive exchange of personal narratives. Echo utilizes innovative real-time facial capture and tracking technology and combines it with animation, storytelling, and portraiture to make connections between strangers. The intention is to build and share a culturally diverse archive of stories and songs to enable an embodied, cross-cultural experience that elicits compassion.

The Experience

The 3-minute experience, framed inside a booth, is reminiscent of the priest’s confessional and the photo booth. Once seated inside, a touch screen becomes a talking virtual mirror. Echo, a female AI character guides the participant, explaining that she can “help you connect”. Your face is captured and then you are directed to select the face of another. Once chosen, you find yourself face-to-face with that person’s personal story that reveals a life challenge, win, or hardship. As the narrative unfolds, your pixelating features slowly inch and glitch onto the narrator's face, ending with your lips uttering their final words. It is a strange feeling as you see your face subtly hijacked by the virtual other, blurring the boundaries between you and them, and shifting your perception through empathy.

When this is completed you are asked if you would like to donate your own narrative or song. Should you decide to do so the installation transforms into an automated recording environment, allowing privacy and personal space in which to author. Adversity becomes a powerful tool for learning and, when shared with a complete stranger, can assist in breaking down stereotypes and prejudices.


Georgie Pinn (Electric Puppet) (UK/AU)

Georgie Pinn (Electric Puppet) (UK/AU) has 2 decades of experience working as an artist, director, and producer of public cultural events, interactive installations, film, animation, theatre, and sound. Georgie’s creative practice is underpinned by her long-term research into empathy as a creative force for making connection across cultural, age and gender divides. Her projects have been presented in a range of public sites/events such as Federation Square, Robotronica, White Night, The Cube, Artplay, Signal, Pause Festival, The Athenaeum Theatre, and the MCG Stadium. She is also regularly commissioned to design and facilitate education programs that focus on harnessing empathy through interactive animation.

Artist: Georgie Pinn (Electric Puppet)
Creative producer: Kendyl Rossi
Unity software development: Jeremy Boulton & David Jakes

Emerging from a research residency at QUT, The Cube, and influenced by an engagement with the Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy and a key FIS activation questions Future Humanity – how to grow the empathy? Echo is an ongoing project collecting, archiving, and sharing human stories across creed, race, culture, and nation states. It has been supported by Robotronica, Pause Festival Federation Square, and the International Symposium on Electronica Art.