Professor Camille Baker
Professor of Interactive and Immersive Arts
Camille Baker is the Year Leader on the MA Games Design course. She teaches Audiences and Experiences and the Real and Virtual Worlds. She is an artist-performer, researcher and curator within various art forms. These include immersive performance with VR and sensory experiences, wearable, haptics and e-textiles design using ethical and sustainable production, participatory performance and interactive installation, nonlinear and interactive narrative, and mobile media art and performance.
Professor Baker is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and researcher with a background in digital and electronic art and design, working across creative disciplines of: wearable technology and e-textiles, mobile media art and performance, the body, VR/AR performance, digital art curating, video art, new media art, alternative music, interactive installation, and emerging technologies research and education.
The most recent project Baker is working on, with funding from UCA Research Fund, is called the INTER/her project INTER/her is an intimate, immersive and VR installation that explores of the inner world of over 40’s women’s bodies and the reproductive diseases they suffer: endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, Ovarian and other cysts, cervical, ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancers and the lack of clear medical information/ support they face. It is explored through a feminist lens, as personal exploration, public education, and community building, positioning the physical body as a site to explore psychological issues of womanhood, identity and the sense of self, exploring the body. This sensory and emotional experience looks from the inside out within in the virtual womb, with accompanying wearable haptic garment providing a visceral vibration responsive experience on the lower abdomen.
Currently, Baker is involved alongside Dr Birgitta Hosea, in the StoryFutures Immersive Storytelling AHRC Creative Clusters project, lead by Royal Holloway University, as an academic collaborator alongside and the SME Valkyrie Industries, helping to develop haptic gloves for immersive VR sculpting for artists.
From April 2019 to present, she has been a partner in the STARTS Ecosystem a Horizon 2020 ICT project (starts.eu), UCA and 4 other partners, is focussed on supporting all the STARTS sub-projects under the STARTS umbrella (Science, Technology and the Arts - ICT&Art Connect/FET-Art, ICT&Art Connect STUDY, WEAR Sustain, VERTIGO/STARTS Residencies, STARTS Prize, and Lighthouse projects: RE-FREAM, and MINDSpaces), and was one of the original parties involved in the STARTS initiative. Baker is the Principle Investigator for UCA on this project bringing in €160,875.00 to the university to leading the community engagement and collaborative development of the project.
Professor Baker’s first monograph was released August 2018, called New Directions in Mobile Media and Performance for Routledge, Taylor & Francis Publishing. This book features theory and practice on mobile devices, Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality and wearable technology in various forms of artistic performance, especially since the release of the first iPhone. Her most recent book chapter Wearing “Data:?Intentions?and?Tensions of Art and Design in Performance using Wearables”, for The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media Art (eds.) Larissa Hjorth, Adriana de Souza e Silva, Klare Lanson, address these issues further.
In 2016, Professor Baker was the initiator and primary consortium partners' to apply for and win EU funding for the WEAR Sustain project wearsustain.eu, which ran January 2017-February 2019, and was focussed on transforming the smart/e-textiles industry to become more ethical and sustainable, through the collaborative innovation projects of artists and technologists. This European consortium of 7 partners were awarded €3.2 million for the Horizon 2020 project in the 2016-17 call ICT-36 for Innovation Action WEAR (Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible innovation) with Baker as Investigator PI for UCA who received €110,000 to lead the artistic and sustainability dimension of the project.
Professor Baker had her first co-edited book with Dr Kate Sicchio, called Intersecting Art and Technology in Practice: Techne, Technique, Technology" on the creative process for artist-technologists, which was released in December 2016 also with Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
Her previous long-term collaboration Hacking the Body and Hacking the Body 2.0 (HTB 2.0) 2011- 2018 with choreographer / media artist Kate Sicchio, started by examining rhetoric within the online computing community on code, hacking, networks, the quantified self, and data as a new approach to examining inner and outer states and sensations of the human body, using sensing devices within performance and now also explores the issues of personal data collection within wearable performance contexts.
Baker also 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 workshop of new techniques and innovations.
She has taught academically for over 18 years in digital media arts and design, starting in Canada, then moving to the UK at Brunel University from 2007 until 2014, then taking the role of Course Leader, now Reader at the University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, where she taught in the Digital Communication Design and then the Graphic Design courses and was responsible for research development in the School of Communication Design before moving to Farnham to take over leading the Games Design course and moving to the School of Film, Media and Performing Arts, in 2019.
Camille completed a practice-based PhD in 2011 at the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute (now at UCD Ireland), with a practice-based research project called MINDtouch, that was an online social/collaborative ‘VJ’ system, as part of an investigation on liveness and presence within mobile performance media contexts using physiological sensors embedded into performance garments.
Camille started her academic life at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada in 1985, studying both Sociology and Anthropology as her Major, and Contemporary Dance as a Minor.
During her Masters Baker started her interest in wearable technology and performance through working with and for internationally recognised dance tech artists Dr Susan Kozel and Professor Thecla Schiphorst for the whispers project.
In 2002, Camille became the lead Curator and Producer curator of the New Forms Festival in Vancouver for three years between 2002-2004, and was also a singer, bass-player and songwriter for various indie rock and electronic music groups for over 10 years spanning the mid-1990s to 2007.
Professor Camille Baker has had an ongoing fascination with all things emotional, embodied, felt, sensed, the visceral, physical, relational, performative and participatory over the last 20 years. Her work always involves working with new and emerging technologies to explore expressive non-verbal modes of communication, and extended embodiment through interactive and immersive art and performance, connecting people to each other in more visceral, felt and emotional ways. She explores new mechanisms to elicit engaging experiences using evolving approaches to technology and the body in participatory and interactive performance.
- Liv Pennington – 2015-present, Primary supervisor. Thesis title (draft): I am not Content: contesting domestic photography’s management of a female image through a practice based investigation. University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, School of Fine Art. Estimated completion date: part-time 2021.
- Jasmine Smith – 2018-present, Second supervisor. Thesis title (draft): Discourses of utopia in the context of practices of fictioning and hypestition in film, primarily through the lens of Xenofeminism. University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, School of Communication Design. Estimated completion date: 2021.
- Nigel Guerin-Garnett – April 2019-present Second external supervisor with RCA. Research questions: How can a new choreographic system be developed using the kinesiology of material interfaces? And how do material interfaces affect movement, and what physical results does this create? Estimated completion date: p/t 2022.
- Maybelle Peters – October 2019-present. Second supervisor. Research Title: Phenomenal Blackness: Tracing the Black body’s movement in Animation from Hypervisibility to Erasure. Estimated completion date: p/t 2024.
- Ruini Shi – October 2019-present. Second supervisor. Research question: How can the design of blockchain-related technologies affect our understanding of queer relationships, as well as the relationships in themselves? Estimated completion date: p/t 2024.
- Matt Johnston – 2014-February 2020, Third supervisor. Thesis title: PHOTO / BOOK / CLUB: Connections (made and missed, digital and other) between the contemporary photobook and its reader. University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, School of Fine Art. Viva February 5, 2020. Passed with minor revisions.
- Veeraong Klangpremjit – 2015-present, Primary supervisor. Thesis title: Rocket Ninja: New Approaches to the design of diabetic health games for Thai children. University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, School of Communication Design. Viva July 18, 2019: Passed with minor revisions.
Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy
- Artistic Advisor STARTS Prize 2019 – submission of curated selection of potential artistic prize winners, https://starts-prize.aec.at/en/jury2019/ April 30th 2019;
- External Technology Advisor, Defragmentation – Curating Contemporary Music research project from February 2017 - March 2019 - addressing themes of “Gender & Diversity”, “Decolonization”, “Technology” and “Curation” in new music, toward better practices and more adequate discourses in these areas. Funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes Germany, developed jointly by MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues, Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Donaueschinger Musiktage, and in cooperation with Ultima Festival Oslo. Advisory fee €10,000, as well as expenses to travel to various meetings in Berln, Darmstadt, and Oslo
- Professional member of the Computer Arts Society, British Computer Society, since March 2017 https://computer-arts-society.com/
- Editorial Board for The Body, Space Technology Journal, http://bstjournal.com since November 2015;
- Paper Peer-reviewer, HCI International 2016 conference (Human Computer Interaction) since November 2015;
- Academic Research Consultant, product development, Pling Toys http://www.plingtoys.com April–Dec 2015;
- e-stitchescollective London – e-textiles meetup, which I founded, which was co-organised with Melissa Coleman (2014-2020) and Irini Papadimitriou (2014-2017), and now with Emilie Gils (2020-present)
- Journal Peer reviewer for MIT’s Leonardo Journal http://www.leonardo.info/leoinfo.html 2013–2015;
- Conference review board member for Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA London) conference 2014, 2015 http://www.eva-london.org/about-eva-london since 2013–2017
- External Examiner for MSc Creative Computing, Creative Computing Institute, University for the Arts London, from 01/03/2020 to 28/02/2025;
- External Examiner for BA (Hons) User-Experience (UX) and User-Interaction (UI) Design course, Ravensbourne University London, February 2020 to July 2023;
- Expert Evaluator, European Commission Funding Evaluation Panel for ICT-55 Immersive Technologies, European Commission offices, Luxembourg – to select 8-10 projects to be funded at 2.5 million Euros each. December 15, 2019 – January 31, 2020. Details on the programme here;
- External PhD Examiner for Helen Collard, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, April 2018 first Viva and re-examination October 16, 2019;
- External Jury Member for the VERTIGO STARTS Residencies STARTS.eu funding application selection at IRCAM headquarters in Paris, 1 place Igor Stravinsky 75004 Paris, France, for Call 2 - January 31 online and in person February 12-13, 2018, Call 3 - May 14th online and in person May 24/25, 2019 https://vertigo.starts.eu/vertigo-project/2018-jury/
- External Jury Member for the REFREAM STARTS.eu funding application selection at Department of Fashion and Technology, Seminarraum 1, Tabakfabrik Linz, Linz, Austria - for Call 1 https://www.re-fream.eu/meet-the-jury/ July 10 -11th, 2019;
- External Examiner for the Validation for New Stamford College, FD/BA Visual Communication, Stamford, UK – administered by The Open University Validation Services, June 20 & 21, 2019 and January 2020;
- External Examiner for Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute (TLRH), MSCA COFUND Visiting Research Fellowship Programme, January 2016;
- External Validation Panel Member of the Hull College of Art and Design, BA(Hons) Web Design and BA(Hons) Games Design, Hull, UK – administered by The Open University Validation Services (June 26th and 27th, 2012)
- External Examiner for the revalidation of FD/BA Design for Games, FD/BA Graphic Design, and FD/BA Illustration and Print, at the Plymouth College Of Art, Plymouth, UK – administered by The Open University Validation Services (April 21-23, 2010)
- September 2019 – University for the Creative Arts, Internal Research Funding for INTER/her project - for work on the immersive installation of an intimate, artistic immersive exploration of the inner world of women’s bodies and the reproductive diseases they suffer, explored through a feminst lens, as personal exploration, public education, and community building. FUNDED (£4,485) – start date: Oct 2019-Dec 2020 (website coming)
- August 2018 - EU Horizon 2020 ICT-32-2018-2, Community Support Action, name: STARTS ecosystem: Support to STARTS Community and Lighthouse Projects through the creation of an ecosystem for hybrid talent, Grant ID: 824950 https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/220244/factsheet/en. I am the PI for University for the Creative Arts. Partners: Gluon (BE), Innovation Services (INOVA+)(PT), Association Culture Tech(FR), Ars Electronica Linz(AT), Institut De Recherche Et De Coordination Acoustique Musique (IRCAM) (FR) FUNDED (€999,918.75 total across all partners/€160,875.00 for UCA) start date: April 2019, ending: November 2021. PROJECT WEBSITE: starts.eu
- January 2017: Awarded €111,062.50 for Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-17 ICT-36 Innovation Action
WEAR (Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible innovation)
- October 2015: Arts Council England Creation and Performance staging of Hacking the Body 2.0 at Access Space, Sheffield and White Building/SPACE Studios, London in February 2016.
- April and Oct 2015: University for the Creative Arts Internal Funding for project Hacking the Body & HTB 2.0, for collaborative work with choreographer Kate Sicchio, combining wearable technologies with performance with a focus on live coded choreography, wearable tech, the ethics of data collection and its impact on identity and movement.
- June 2013-May 2014: FET-ART: ICT&ART Connect: EU consortia grant - Future Emerging Technologies (FET) Support Action FP7 Co-Creation call. FUNDED (€550,000) - start date: June 1, 2013-May 31st, 2014.
- Oct 2013-Sept 2015: CreAM: EU consortia grant - for the EU FP7 Strategic Objective ICT-2013.8.1 call FUNDED (€7,000,000) - start date: October 1, 2013-September 2015.
- 2013: Canada Council Travel Grant to ISEA 2013, The International Symposia of Electronic Arts, Sydney, Australia; TekStar Technology Arts Festival, Byron Bay, Australia; and ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference, Sydney, Australia ($2,500).
- 2007: BBC R&D Surrey, UK PhD Sponsorship to conduct my PhD studies at the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute, University of East London.
- 2006-2011: £20,000 yearly - three years.
- 2004: Canada Council Travel Grant - to Qi and Complexity Conference in Beijing, China Nov 2004 ($2,500).
- 2002: SXSW 2002 Interactive Award Finalist - Tales of Slacker Bonding - online magazine: www.slackerbonding.com - Creator/Editor-in-chief (no monetary prize).
- 2002: TechBC Award for Academic Excellence, based upon the academic year 2001-2002 ($5,000).
- 2002: TechBC Award for University Service Scholarship, based upon the academic year 2001- 2002 ($5,000).
- 2001: Minerva Foundation Award for Women in Graduate Studies for the 2001-2002 school year ($2,000).
- Dr Baker has presented, exhibited and performed in the UK and internationally for over 20 years.