Is an interactive art piece a genuine opportunity to connect with yourself or another? Artist-designer and information architect Matthew Mohr believes so… |
Matthew Mohr Studios designs a sculpture of a giant human head that displays the likeness of every visitor, who interacts with it. ‘As We Are’, his newest creation, is a 14-feet-tall 3D human head made up of 3,000 ribbons of ultra-bright LED screens comprising over 8,50,000 individual LEDs.
Visitors can interact with the imposing sculpture by having their photo taken in a photo booth located in a recess at the back of the sculpture. Using a process called photogrammetry, 29 cameras take simultaneous pictures of the visitor’s face to create an instant 3D model, which then displays on the video head in a magnified scale.
Matthew started off with a small 3D printed mock-up, before he moved on to creating a full-size foam prototype. The construction of the human head - a race-less and gender-less form - borrows from a study on the ideal helmet for construction workers, which adopts 3D digital photo samples of 5,000 people across all races and genders. Referencing thousands of years of sculpture, the subtle bronze colour of the CNC-cut aluminium structure works well with all complexions.
The public sculpture, commissioned by Greater Columbus Ohio, stands proudly in the Convention Centre. During the day, it faces into the atrium and at night, it rotates to face outwards towards the street. Capable of storing 1,00,000 portraits on-site in the cloud, the iconic sculpture that is garnering increased interest online and offline, is intended to run for seven-to-ten years.
The instantaneous creation of a magnified image of each visitor aims to address the relationship between self and representation of self, thereby encouraging discussions around the phenomena of social media, diversity and the power dynamic of public art. It also asks viewers to contemplate portraits of people across ethnicities and gender identities.
Moreover, the placement of photographic manipulation software in the hands of the public represents a democratic means to change one’s appearance. Whether one is aspiring to be an ideal or toying with identity, the fluid nature of identity invariably comes into play; and the sculpture gives the layman the opportunity to recognise this. check out the visuals on indiaartndesign.com
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