site in development
Stills from Face Shift. Video: Ellen Zweig

Face Shift

Face Shift is an experiment in algorithmic facial choreography. It is a play on the mirror symmetry of the human face, where each side of the face is controlled by an identical algorithm. However, one algorithm is executed slightly faster –over time– giving rise to shifting movement patterns from symmetry to asymmetry (and back again). Over the duration of the piece, the execution of the algorithms is slowly accelerated which results in facial expressions with a whole range of different emotional connotations.

Two DECtalk voice synthesis machines are deployed on each side of the face, calling out the identification numbers of the activated muscles.
Face Shift has been acquired by The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam for their permanent collection.


Face Shift is the second of a two stage performance together with Morphology and was first presented at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia USA in 2005.


year: 2005
duration: 23:46
co-author: Remko Scha
tags: algorithmic, choreography, dance