Misha's Blog

Marina Abramović vs Nina Simone

Posted in Projects, SoYummy by Misha on December 4, 2010

I created this video while working on my computer vision surveillance project. I harvested the audience portraits from The Artist Is Present performance this past summer (2010) at the MoMA. I mined this data set for the most normal and most unique looking person (the results are coming the next post). When I strung the images together into a video, I was pretty amazed by the result. When the images are blowing by at a high rate, persistence of vision makes it seem that the individual features of the different people are being substituted. The effect is similar to Michael Jackson’s Black or White music video, but without the explicit morphing.

I also ended up harvesting the eyes, noses, and mouths from these photos and finding the most normal of each. I think Nina Simone’s song I Ain’t Got No (I Got Life) is more ideal in this case, as she really adresses the ‘the whole is more than the sum of its parts’ aspect of our individual identities.

Here is the video (and also its here on its own page with embedding instructions).

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  1. Dana said, on January 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    wow this is really great. I love this, it is so interesting seeing these faces all being morphed into one movement. That’s at least how I see it

  2. […] I decided to use a set of portraits that was already available. I remembered this summer’s performance in NYC by Marina Abramović and the resulting photo portrait archive of the audience. What attracted me to this set is the active gaze of the participants. They are not ambivalent passerbys being caught on camera but are actively looking, even staring, at the artist. Marina herself, sitting almost motionless in the same seat in the gallery all day, every day for weeks, became a surveillance camera. In a way, she was only ingesting views of the visitors, as if it was life-giving sustenance. I harvested the portraits (taking out images of Marina herself) and strung them into a video. […]

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