Humans of the World
November 22, 2015
This is a project I’m currently trying to get funding for. Essentially it’s to fund me as an artist to create digital portraits of ordinary people in the news. It will be updated regularly on this Twitter page –
It is hoped that the artist (me) will engage with the public to find unique and interesting stories in the news about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, the unsung heroes and the forgotten.
I have developed an abstract digital technique, using code, math and algorithms, to create complex interweaving patterns which are ‘shaded’ by an underlying photo. The final image relies on the ‘when you see it’ effect – in that it’s not immediately apparent who or what you are looking at exactly, but when you ‘see it’, then a drama is added to the experience.
We are all too familiar with the modern day photo of someone in the news, either the cold realism of digital photography, or the forgettable banality of a selfie and mobile camera shot, but it is hoped that this style of abstract, digital portraiture, can serve to uniquely immortalise the person portrayed, through the power of artistic interpretation.
The images themselves also have layers of symbolic and metaphorical meaning, reflecting the persons nature, and / or the events with which they were involved.
This is an experiment in how an artist responds to and interprets the news, charting events and the people involved, for a period of a year. An artistic recording of history.
A dialogue between a social media following is important in not only finding stories, but also in engaging with the artist in developing visual techniques and suggestions of symbolism for each new work.
It is imagined that a new portrait would be created each week from the news, and after a year – the 52 portraits would form an exhibition piece, and could be further developed into an animated film with commissioned soundtrack.
Here are three portraits from recent news stories I used to prototype the project, currently live on the Twitter page with links to the original news sources. You can see the original photo bottom right, which is used to ‘shade’ the abstracted composition.