Dr 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.
Dr 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.
Dr 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, Dr 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.
Dr 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.
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