"What about the heart?" by Luisa Whitton

Apr 19 2017

Luisa is a young British photographer who works around the idea of doubles and their relationship with the original character, exploring at the same time how personalities are represented and reconstructed via portraiture. For her project “What about the heart?”, Luisa traveled to Japan to photograph the robots that professor Hiroshi Ishiguro created as a replica of himself in order to investigate whether human presence can be transmitted into an inanimate object. In this way, Luisa’s photographs are an intriguing window to the future, raising questions about the the meaning of being human today or how will be our interaction with these human-like robots in the future, amongst many others.


Following we present an interview that we had with Luisa:


am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

LW - I am a London based photographer, (born 1991), I recently completed my masters in Photography at London College of Communication, where I self published the photo book ‘What About the Heart?’ (You can see it online here: http://luisawhitton.bigcartel.com/). At the moment I am working on researching new personal projects and I work as a Retoucher at Spring Studios in London.


am - How did you start in photography?

LW - I started in photography I think like most 90’s kids, taking selfies for my myspace page, which slowly turned into a fascination with portraiture and the human / non-human face.


am - What inspires your work?

LW - For my latest work, I am inspired by the idea of doubles. A twin being two people, a robot copy being the double of a person. A photograph being a ‘double’ representation of reality. For the ‘What about the Heart?’ project, I like the relationship between self-portraiture and robotics. The robot being a self portrait of the person, the photograph being a portrait of that portrait. I am inspired by the uncanny, the moment where an object or photograph can temporarily suspend your belief, and reality and fantasy are blurred.


am - What is “What about the heart?” about?

LW - ‘What About the Heart?’ is about a Japanese scientist who created a robotic copy of himself, and began to experience a series of 'psychological side-effects’ due to having this infamous object in his own image. The series explores that new psychological experience, with text and image, and in a broader sense highlights the shifting relationships between technology, identity, and what it means to be human today.


am - After completing this series, what do you think are the biggest implications of creating human-like robots?

LW - I think the biggest implication is what emotional effect do these robots have on our own sense of identity, what kind of relationship will we develop with these objects. How far will the technology go?


am - What’s your favourite movie?

LW - Blade Runner!


am - What are you reading at the moment?

LW - ‘IQ84′ Haurki Murakami.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

LW - That’s a very hard question! There are so many…. The last photobook I brought was 'Dalston Anatomy’ by Lorenzo Vitturi, and my favourite artist book is Sophie Calle ’M-as Tu Vue?’

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