Author and artist, Emma Magenta uses her alter-ego Phillipa Finch to touch on the core of humanity and blend emotion with technology to help us deal with big questions.. In this talk at TEDxCanberra 2011, Emma describes her work and how she uses her alter-egos to explore and understand emotion. She also demonstrates The Waking Heart; a machine built to provide a technical component to her art.
Emma Magenta was born in Sydney and began her career drawing and writing her thoughts down on brown paper bags while working at Berkelouw Books in Paddington. After pinning them to the front window, they accrued a cult status and a publishing deal was offered to her by Australian publishing phenomenon Bradley Trevor Grieve.
Since then, she has written and illustrated several adult picture books; The Peril of Magnificent Love, A Gorgeous Sense of Hope, The Origin of Lament and The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch. These books explore aspects of the feminine psyche, one’s emotional world and the secret life of relationships. They have resonated with thousands of women around the globe as an antidote to depression.
Her latest creation; The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch is Magenta’s first foray into the world of animation and follows the emotional journey of Magenta’s alter-ego Phillipa Finch from death to life. A sixteen episode series screened on ABC1 in 2011 that seeks to bridge the gap between human emotion and technology via an interactive website. The viewer answers questions regarding their emotional state and thereby can create their own online artwork known as a Heartwork.
This project has now extended into a live space through a machine known as The Waking Heart.