Luc Courchesne was born in 1952 in St-Leonard dAston, Quebec. He studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (Bachelor of Design in Communication, 1974), and at MIT, Cambridge (Master of Science in Visual Studies, 1984). He began his explorations in interactive video in 1984 when he co-authored Elastic Movies, one of the earliest experiment in the field with Ellen Sebring, Benjamin Bergery, Bill Seaman and others. He has since produced several isntallations including encyclopedia Chiaroscuro (1987), Portrait One (1990), and Family Portrait (1993). His work has been shown extensively world-wide (Artifices3, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Siggraph93, Anaheim; Otso Galleria, Helsinki; TISEA92, Sydney, etc...). He is a professor at the Ecole de design industriel, Universite de Montreal, and currently artist in residence at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe.
Portrait One (1990) is the fisrt work by Luc Courchesne to experiment the potential of the conversational interface and of the fictional approach to hypermedia portraiture. Later work include Family Portrait (1993) which experiments with networking, multi-user systems and also with the the documentary approach to hypermedia portraiture and the Salon of Shadows (1996) which will further develop the user interface by introducing, along with the imposed conversational framework, which has become the trademark of the previous work, a form of visitor modelisation that will strengthen the impression of communication between visitors and virtual beings.
Overall, the work attempts at staging a form of theatrical experience around a sensitive content based environment where interaction, if possible, is not the only rule: visitors will feel equally appropriate to be there as spectators or as actors. Portrait One has been created and is played using A Macintosh micro-computer with HyperCard. The video sequences are stored on laserdisc and displayed as reflexions on a glass plate positioned directly above the video projection.
Credit titles :
Luc Courchesne (concept, script, direction, programming, production);
Paule Ducharme (script, acting);
Jason Levy (Camera, photography);
Portrait One was created in Montreal in 1990 with support from the Canada arts council.