Camille Baker

Exhibition Opening Thursday, April 7, 5 pm

Ivey Library, New College, 20 Willcox Street

Note that this installation accommodates 3 people at a time (slots of 40 minutes each). please register HERE for one of the slots available

Artist Camille Baker’s new work INTER/her takes her personal experience and those of other women who have had post-reproductive diseases and pain to create a Virtual Reality, sound, and haptic*, fully immersive artwork. The work explores the psychological issues of womanhood, and the sense of self.

INTER/her is based on Baker’s experience and journey through the healthcare system while she was treated for a post-reproductive disease in 2016. The ideas and development of the work emanates from experiencing women’s silence, conflicting information, and inconsistencies in support for women’s health.

Baker was also inspired by the stories she started to hear from friends and family about their reproductive disease experiences, which seemed to be hidden or kept to themselves until she began to speak up about it. Baker wanted the artwork to allow the seeing of the unseen and give insight and emotional awareness of a subject that is little known or talked about.

The themes in the work include issues of female identity, sexuality, body image, loss of body parts, pain, disease and cancer. The work also represents the lived experience of women’s pain and anger, conflicting thoughts through self-care and the growth of disease. Feelings of mortality are explored through a medical process in male-dominated medical institutions and a dearth of reliable information.

The artwork developed out of a layered soundscape of the stories Baker collected and ambient sound design and music with an all-women team. Interaction designer Maf’j Alverez, and concept artist Sarah Büttner helped her create the visual environment and electronics. Fashion designer Bushra Burge worked with Baker to develop the haptic corset worn by exhibition visitors, and sound artist Kat Austen designed the sound experience.

The work is presented inside a physical bespoke tent in the centre of the gallery space with a vulva-shaped opening and seats for participants inside. Each participant is dressed in a ‘haptic corset’ before entering the tent, which is embedded with vibration actuators in different locations on the lower abdomen with different intensities and patterns. Sensations will be felt on the body that are triggered by the stories that will play through the 360 spatialized audio inside the dome.

A view of the entrance of the installation
Camille Baker poses inside her installation

Camille Baker is an artist-performer/researcher/curator within various art forms: immersive experiences, participatory performance and interactive art, mobile media art, tech fashion/soft circuits/DIY electronics, responsive interfaces and environments, and emerging media curating. Maker of participatory performance and immersive artwork, Baker develops methods to explore expressive non-verbal modes of communication, extended embodiment and presence in real and mixed reality and interactive art contexts, using XR, haptics/ e-textiles, wearable devices and mobile media. She has an ongoing fascination with all things emotional, embodied, felt, sensed, the visceral, physical, and relational. Her 2018 book New Directions in Mobile Media and Performance showcases exciting approaches and artists in this space, as well as her own work. She has been running a regular meetup group with smart/e-textile artists and designers since 2014, called e-stitches, where participants share their practice and facilitate workshops of new techniques and innovations. Baker  also has been Principal Investigator for UCA for the EU funded STARTS Ecosystem ( Apr 2019-Nov 2021 and founder initiator for the EU WEAR Sustain project Jan 2017-April 2019 (