Videorative Portrait of Randall Okita from Sergio Albiac on Vimeo.

Sergio Albiac created a project

“Painting a Videorative portrait (a generative, narrative and interactive video portrait) starts with collecting personal videos of the person portrayed, tagged by him/her with relevant concepts and descriptions. Then, using a custom developed tool, the artist “paints with meanings” and generates a video portrait, subtitled with generative personal narratives.” -quoted from his website. What I find most inspiring about the project is it’s ability to take something standard, traditional, antiquated and turn portraiture into a living breathing medium again. As we are able to more accurately and thoroughly represent life, for the majority of people it is not enough to simply have a picture. By encompassing time and memories within his piece, he takes the timeless medium of portraiture into the fourth dimension. One critique I have on the piece is that there was only one final product made. Had he done these portraits on several people we would be able to get a sense of the real powers of the tool. Additionally if he had released the tool so that people could make their own self portraits, it would have been much more powerful. Unfortunately the algorithm behind the tools that he created isn’t really disclosed through the video (or anything else). I know it responds to whatever photos you are tagged in and how you interact with the tool. Albiac is the one who created the response the user gets from the tool. Since he created the rules, his artistic sensibilities are pervasive. The effective complexity leans more in the realm of disorder. The only structure the piece really gets order from is the ability of the viewer to identify eyes, noes, ears and mouth. Because those elements are always there then the viewer can always classify the image as a face which brings comfort and consistency.

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