Artist Spotlight: Rowan Mersh
BY Christopher Harrity
September 03 2011 4:00 AM ET
An interactive installation that invites the public to become the subject of unique digital pop art portraits. Using face recognition software, a digital camera is triggered to capture the portrait of the participant when they are positioned within a marked area appearing on a monitor next to the canvas (similar to the process within a public photo booth). This portrait is run through self-developed software that generates a large-scale pop art–style portrait constructed from thousands of smaller versions of the original portrait. This Pixel Portrait is then projected on a large framed canvas until the next participant is ready to engage with the project. The canvas was created from self-enhanced rear-projection fabric, enabling the projected portrait to be viewed morning or night. The process from portrait capture to Pixel Portrait display takes a matter of seconds. On generation each unique Pixel Portrait was also uploaded live to an FTS for the participant to download at their leisure. This self-generating project ran live 24 hours a day for a 10-day period at the beginning of October 2008 in Maria Luisa, Paris, during which time over 1,000 unique Pixel Portraits were generated.
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