Margot Jacobs, Jessica Findley, Ralph Borland: Front

  • ©, Margot Jacobs, Jessica Findley, and Ralph Borland, Front



Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    The Millefiore Effect concentrate on making work using interactive devices and environments to elicit and facilitate emotional responses and communication between people. Their projects rely on and disrupt our codes of behavior and interaction with others.

    Front is two lightweight wearable suits that both contain offensive and defensive inflatable air sacs. Attendants help participants (gallery visitors or other members of the public) into the suits, which strap around their shoulders, over their clothes. A microphone in each suit picks up the wearer’s voice. When their voice exceeds a certain volume, small fans cause their own offensive sacs to inflate, along with the other participant’s defensive sacs. If both players are above the volume limit, both suits will be entirely inflated. When both players are below that level., the fans suck all the air out of the suits.

    Front developed from the idea of creating something wearable that would change in response to the wearer. We thought of analogies to certain animals that have the means for very physical expressions of their internal state. We set out, not to dress the user as an animal, but to create a similar means of expression for humans. As we worked on the suits and saw them used, they presented ideas around conflict and violence: they suggested a ritualized, ceremonial form of combat that defused aggression at the same time as it played with it”.

    The Millefiore Effect was formed in the year 2000 by Ralph Borland, Jessica Findley & Margot Jacobs. They met as graduate students in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University (NYU), USA.