I visited a group of ‘handicapped’ artists …
The group of about 30 artists works together since years in a small studio. The plan was to make an exhibition together with a couple of other artists…
Although it was not part of the initial concept I made portraits of the group during my visits.
Revising my work afterwards I found out that the persons I portrayed all had very intense physiognomical expression and facial features because of their ‘handicap’.
Because of juristical coherences it was not possible to use the original portrait-photographies for an exhibition. But I had the idea to make them part of an allegorical visualization that also could reflect some of the thoughts that concerned me.
I edited the portraits reducing colours and contrasts as much as possible to get even closer to the main characteristics of the individual faces.
Next I wrote a Video script that divided the digital portrait files into an immense pool of single pixels and digital informations. In this manner each photography was disassembled into millions of unsorted pixels.
As a next step I installed the possibility within the script to build a new picture using random algorithms. Each pixelposition is defined randomly by obtaining the pixel at the defined position of one of the 30 portraits. In that way the generated new portrait calculatory contains informations of all 30 portraits!
The script now produces a new random face every 10 seconds and gives rise to an animation.
Because of the high quantity of pixel positions this is a nearly endless process as you can caculate by mathematical probability.
The result was fascinating!
Because of the millions of single points the created new image had a very special, almost lyrical impression that evokes the association of a drawing.
Contrary to my speculation the new faces were less characteristical but more harmonic.
Still if you watch the animation for a longer time you will believe to recognize individuals, characteristics and personalities even if you don’t know the original persons.
On the other hand if you know the involved persons you will be reminded somehow to each of them in each generated new face althought they’re completely different.
It’s a very strange impression.
I found out that the more faces I mixed together the more arbitrary they seemed to become.
The video is generative. That means it generates itself by algorithms during run time. The pictures created are not repeatable and the possible alternatives are nearly infinite. Using a resolution of 1440 x 1080 pixels there are 1.555.200 pixels in total. Each of them can be casted by 30 different possibilities.
Allegories and Beauty
The main thoughts I had starting this projects dealed with questions of genetical coincidence and variety as well as with the social idea of inclusion.
The uncountable number of pixels of the digital portraits are kind of allegorical to me to the millions of genetical informations that lead to our individual appearance and possiblities.
The visualisation began to improve this allegorical meaning: Diversity and inclusion of as many as possible varieties seem to lead to an impression of harmony, balance and beauty.
The impression of beauty especially is created by an impression of harmonical balance and formal evenness.
Immediately apparent characteristics and uneven peculiarities disturb the perception and create the sentiment of non-beauty.