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Monday, October 23, 2017

“This sculpture has brains!”

By Beverly Pereira
Photography: Courtesy v2com & matthewmohr.com
Read Time: 2 mins
"as we are sculpture matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
 photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston

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.

"video installation matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
 photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston
"photo booth cameras exposed matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
Exposed cameras in photo                    booth photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston
"photo booth matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
photo credit: Matthew Mohr Studios

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.

"as we are matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
Matthew Mohr with the chassis                              photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston
"video installation head in half matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
CNC cut aluminium structure                                              photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston
"as we are ready matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
Ready for shipping                                          photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston
"video installation tech matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
LED screens                                                                                photo credit: Tom Bergeron, courtesy of DCL Boston

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.

"video installation front back matthew mohr indiaartndesign"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   photo credit: v2com

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.

"as we are video installation matthew mohr studio indiaartndesign"
photo credit: Ellen Dalaghar

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. 

2 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful article! The writing is great and the arrangement of the pictures compliments the narrative. May I make one request? I worked with Design Communications Limited of Boston, they really brought the piece alive.

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  2. I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.

    ReplyDelete