I-SKIN 1.0 + 2.0

The interactive installation I-Skin 2.0 by Naziha Mestaoui, architect, urbanist and new media designer, Yacine Aït Kaci, new media author and designer and Crstof, fashion designer, presented at the " Musée de la mode " is a reflection on the notion of electronic identity.
Each of us has, without knowing it, a double in the electronic world, constituted by all the information he left, identification numbers, bank datas, … All this abstract information forms a shadow of our identity in the fields of data. This double doesn't have any particular form, it's a concept. This concept is situated at the extreme opposite to the notion of avatar. An avatar is the electronic representation of an individual into a digital environment.

If most of the research realised in this domain present a physical representation of the individual, a simulation of the physical reality. The aim of I-SKIN is to traduce the emotional and psychical factors rather than the physical ones to propose a new kind of representation. The avatar profile itself as tomorrow's clothing.

The second phase of the I-skin project as well as the exhibition realised thank to the help France Télécom R&D. The work with artists takes often place within some research units of France Télécom R&D to enrich the teams creativity. I-Skin2.0 brings to France Télécom R&D a complementary vision on the works in the domain of avatars.

I-SKIN 2.0 is an installation proposing an interactive avatar generation and the confrontation of this avatar to a totally interactive collective space allowing the user to navigate and find the avatar he created.
Each visitor is confronted to a basic neutral 3D form, through the choices he'll make, the form will turn into a unique object, personalised and numeroted. He'll keep the trace of it as It'll become his own avatar, the projection of his presence into a virtual space. This avatar will be placed into a collective space, taking a precise position corresponding to the ponderation of his choices. This collective space as well as the creation interface work within identification criteria exploring the notion of personality. 3D interactive model of i-skin (598k)

In fact, I-SKIN 2.0 proposes an original point of view to the creation of virtual identity. It isn't the physical appearance or simulation of the reality that model the form, but a reflection on personality through an interface conceived to model major types, the personality Crystal created by Naziha Mestaoui et Yacine Aït Kaci.

The personality Crystal is a system organised on the base of the characteristic personality types studied by modern psychology and his founder, C.G.Jung. The crystal proposes a subjective model of the human personality by crossing the main types with the symbolism of the 4 fundamental element's representation: fire, water, air and earth.

The psychological types are classified in three categories: the intimate relationship (I), the relashionship with the other (You) and the relashionship to the society (Us). Each of these scales correspond to one character by fundamental element. The twelve characters resulting of this process ( conceptual, emotive, spiritual, rational, extraverted, introverted, intuitive, sensitive, revolutionary, contemporary, utopique and conservator) are positioned at the extremities of a regular geometrical form in a logical way according to their oppositions and belonging to a particular element. The creation of avatar will proceed by identification to these major characters. Each of the character is defined by 5 words, as a kind of graduation.

This system proposes then 60 words within which the user will have to make a selection of 5 words to model his personality avatar. The entire creation process, resulting into an identifiable form is then representing recognisable elements. The chosen words represented by images will form an "information tunnel" situated inside the I-SKIN and will be crossed by the user who will see the trace of his own choices, his personality inner space.

The collective space is built on 12 axes and the created avatars are placed into this space according to the ponderation of the chosen words.
The user will be able to find his avatar into a collective space inhabited by all the created i-skins and will understand his avatar in comparison to them.

The collective space and the creation space are combined into an installation. By entering into this installation, the visitor can interact with his avatar. The installation is a Plexiglas folding, offering a surface to two projections of 3D interactive images and two interfaces, comprising a series of video on a touch screen. The projected images reflect on the folding and the space, creating a luminous ambience changing according to the users choices, where the virtual images and the physical world fuse into a complex hybrid reality. Modèle 3D interactive model of the installation (52K)

The sound is a partially generative partition created by the composer Stephan Haeri. Each of the category has a different theme, combined to form the sound creating the ambience of each particular i-skin.

The project I-SKIN 2.0 is the second phase, adaptation of a project I-SKIN 1.0 presented in summer 2000 in the exhibition "La beauté" in Avignon by Naziha Mestaoui, Crstof and LAB[au]. The first phase of the project was already a reflection on the perception of identity in the virtual world through the theme of avatar. The initial project questioned the concept of avatar with 3 basic criteria: the body, the clothing and architecture, each representing a facet of the identity. Trough the choice of archived images representative of these domain, the color, transparency and form of the I-Skin changes.

The project uses the 3D real time technology developed by the French society Virtools, allowing a total liberty with interactivity thanks to a behavioral software.

I-SKIN 1.0 + 2.0 is a reflection in progress on the notion of the electronic double linked to all the creation field, and announce other projects in this direction.



Naziha Mestaoui, architect, urbanist et new media designer

Yacine Aït Kaci, new media designer

Crstof, fashion designer