Bitesize Lecture with Tina Gonsalves and Tom Donaldson
Tina Gonsalves and Tom Donaldson, founders of Clutch, have created Medulla Intimata, responsive video jewellery. While wearing the jewellery, software monitors the tone and intonation in the wearer’s voice. These measurements help the software select video sequences appropriate to the emotional state of the wearer. Once selected, the appropriate piece of video is broadcast to the jewellery using wi-fi technology in real time.
This work aims to extend the traditions of video portraiture through embedding video in a worn object of self-expression, namely a necklace, a portrait continuously subject to the wearer’s emotional state. It subverts straightforward self-expression by disclosing intimate details of the wearer, providing an interpretative rather than a representational commentary. As conversations become more intimate, the jewellery acts less like a shield and more as a wound. The overall character and content of the piece and the video content reflects the overall character and content of the wearer and thus portrays a true living portrait.
Medulla Intimata is a subtle public intervention with Tom and Tina wearing the jewellery with in public spaces such as galleries, bars and clubs. As you chat with Tom or Tina, Medulla Intimata distracts, leads and confuses the conversation, leaving both you and the wearer discomforted by its playful but intimate voyeurism. To add to the sense of voyeurism, the video output will also be projected on the walls of the space, allowing others in the room to look-in, judge and resolve that their conversations will be more interesting or more intimate. Despite the informality of the intervention, everyone in the room becomes very aware that they are watching and being watched, judging and being judged, in the process of simply making friends and flirting with strangers.
Over a decade Tina Gonsalves has been using the fluid and malleable medium of video to explore complex emotional landscapes. Works by Tina have been screened at many prestigious international and national festivals and events, and her music videos for labels BMG, EMI, and Festival Mushroom Records have been frequently televised worldwide.
Tom Donaldson is an engineer and inventor. He graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelors in Engineering and Masters in Information Theory. He has worked professionally creating new technologies for a wide variety of corporations. He set up and ran Escape Velocity, an artificial intelligence software company delivering deep personalisation to the mobile industry. He also launched Sessami, the UK’s first mobile entertainment channel, nominated for a WAP award.