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Scott Chasserot Uses Art And Science To Find People’s Ideal Image Of Themselves

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Original Ideal from Scott Chasserot on Vimeo.

In his project Original/Ideal, British photographer Scott Chasserot tries to answer the question “What would we change about ourselves if no one were looking?” Using photography, image manipulation software, and an Emotiv EEG brain scanner, Chasserot’s project attempts to discover each individual’s ideal self-image without having the subject utter a word. It’s an interesting combination of art, science, and perception.

The first step of the process is to remove or reduce accessories and enhancements from the subject being photographed. Makeup is removed, hair is pulled back, clothes are adjusted so as not to appear in the frame—the goal is neutrality. The photograph is taken, then manipulated into 50 versions, each with tweaks to facial features, head shape, coloring, and more. The subjects are then hooked up to the Emotive scanner which records brain activity while they are shown the altered images. The scans are examined for signs of “engagement”—particular mental focus which Chasserot interprets to be a positive reaction. The image that produces the most positive brain reaction is thought to be the subject’s ideal version of his- or herself.

“What do we find instinctively beautiful in the human face, and how does this translate to self-image?”

It’s interesting that Chasserot equates an unvoiced preference to instinct. After all, even though the person’s reaction to his or her images is ungoverned, societal influences, cultural ideals, and pre-existing ideas about attractiveness are all learned, not instinctive.

“The methodology is still in pilot study phase,” Chasserot told The Creators Project. “There is plenty to be improved upon. The ‘Ideal’ image is simply the one with the greatest positive reaction immediately after presentation and that cannot be distinguished from any theoretical, specific ‘ideal self’ reaction.”

In the photos below, the original image is on the left and the chosen “ideal” version on the right.

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Yusuke Asai Uses 27 Different Shades Of Mud To Create Massive Mural

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This dream-like mural is the result of two long weeks rubbing clay, mud and dirt, day and night into the walls and floor of Rice Gallery in Houston. Since 2008 Japanese artist Yusuke Asai has been creating these earth paintings. His latest one, titled Yamatane (meaning Mountain Seed in Japanese) was created purely with locally sourced natural materials. With the help of volunteers and the staff of the gallery, Asai collected 27 different shades of dirt from around Houston. His palette is surprisingly varied – the fertile soils of Texas provided him with many tones of yellows, reds and even a rare shade of green. Wanting to form a connection between his visual art and the location he is working in, he says digging for the various samples is an important part of the process. Asai speaks of his fascination with dirt:

I choose to use the earth as a medium because I can find dirt anywhere in the world and do not need special materials. Dirt is by nature very different than materials sold in art stores! Seeds grow in it and it is home to many insects and microorganisms. It is a “living” medium. (Source)

Not formally trained, Asai learned his image making skills from sketching animals in zoos and visiting the museums of his native Japan. Observing different mark making techniques from other cultures and folklore, he has been building his own version of the natural world for some time. His subject matter also echoes those that are fundamental to primitive societies – that of the nature that surrounds us. Asai says:

Imagery of figures and creatures comes to me in the moment. Fox, bird, cat, and sunshine – everything has a role; parts disappear and something is added. I begin each work thinking of the countless small things that come together to make a larger world. (Source) (Via Colossal)

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Joel Parés’ Powerful Series Examines What Happens When You Judge A Book By Its Cover

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Joel Parés is a U.S. Marine-turned-photographer who’s created a series titled Judging America that illustrates the prejudices we often have against people who are different from ourselves. As the old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and that’s what you’re liable to when you first see these stylized photographs.

Each image is broken up into the two parts – a stereotype of a particular societal group versus who the character actually is. The tattooed, gun-toting gangster turns out to be a Harvard graduate, a decorated stripper is a buttoned-up widowed mother of three kids, and more. You get the picture here – Parés is demonstrating that talented, incredible people come in all different packages.

“Many of us judge incorrectly by someone’s ethnicity, by their profession, and by their sexual interest,” Parés told PetaPixel. “The purpose of this series is to open our eyes and make us think twice before judging someone, because we all judge even if we try not to.” (Via Bored Panda)

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The Stunning Geometry Of Iranian Mosques

Dome of Seyyed Mosque

Dome of Seyyed Mosque

Aliqapu Palace

Aliqapu Palace

Dolat Abad Historical Site

Dolat Abad Historical Site

Iranian photographer and physics student Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji finds amazing beauty just by looking up. His panoramic photos of mosque domes feature the stunning geometry characteristic of Islamic art. Though these are real places, the techniques Domiri uses causes them to read as abstract patterns when photographed. In a Daily Mail interview he said:

“I like looking for the symmetry, mosaics and artworks in these temples. I like how they let the light come inside and columns are special too as they divide interior space and give some depth.”

Sacred geometry—writing or artwork intended to summon thoughts of Allah—is the basis for Islamic religious architectural design. The Islamic expression “Geometry is God manifest” expresses the importance of this kind of ornamentation in Islamic art. The repetition, intricacy, and complexity of the designs are both rigid and freeing. The patterns seem endless, swirling and intertwined, mesmerizing and stimulating.

To capture these manipulated images, Domiri takes panoramic photos, setting his tripod at the center point of the mosque and keeping in mind lighting and symmetry. Permission to shoot the interiors of these Iranian mosques is quite rare—as they are historical sites, photographs are largely forbidden. He takes multiple images, making sure to get all angles, then stitches them together digitally.

“Maybe some of these historical sites will not exist in 20 years or change a lot during that time. When I am capturing these pictures, I think about how they will be recorded and in future I hope people will be able to see their beauty.”

The resulting images bring the beauty of these mostly unseen mosques to the world. Domiri’s use of modern equipment and computer programs to capture this ancient art transforms it into stunningly beautiful abstracted color, shape, and pattern.

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Ian Strange Crash Lands A Suburban Home In A Museum Courtyard

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Ian Strange’s site-specific artwork injects violent excitement into suburban areas, or drops the suburbs down smack in the middle of the city. With either strategy, his work comments on the drawl and deep isolation of the suburban life through paint and installation. In his most recent project, ‘Landed’ (made for the 2014 Biennial of Australian Art), Strange created a life size installation of approximately half a suburban home, painted entirely black, and made it to look as if it had either been dropped from the sky or was emerging from the ground in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s front courtyard. Details of gravel surrounding the home and a lit porch light add credibility to the realism of the scene.

In his ‘Suburban’ series, Strange uses severe colours like red and the same matte black as he later would for ‘Landed’ to demonstrate the oddity of suburban living, and the isolation he believes is quite present in such neighbourhoods. The dripping skull is jarring, as is the massive red X, but even just the large black circle has a haunting feeling. It is as if the house is there save the one gaping piece, and the viewer is left to wonder what unsettling things might inhabit it. (Via inthralld.)

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Can Pekdemir’s Surreal (And Hirsute) Figures Are Strange Creatures Of Fiction

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Conceptual artist Can Pedekmir creates digital portraits of imaginary creatures. According to the bio on his website, he works on the “deformation of human and animal body using various methodologies,” one of which he lists as applying “mathematical equations.” Other methodologies seem to include using hair. Lots of hair.

Pekdemir’s portraits are in stark black and white and appear like artifacts from an alternate dimension. His subjects are creatures with no distinguishable features; instead, their faces and entire heads are coiffed, tangled masses of hair and other biomatter. The result looks something like Where the Wild Things Are by way of Edward Gorey. Alternatively, it’s as though an entire forest undergrowth developed sentience and decided to pose for some erstwhile photographer.

Pekdemir’s work was featured most recently at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, which ended late last month. He’s listed as a photographer, which only serves to highlight the eerie surreal quality of his art. Part photography and part elaborate fiction, his work blurs the lines between what is and what could be. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Messing Up Ideas Of Beauty: The Queen Of Afro-Kitsch, Mickalene Thomas Challenges Us All

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Mickalene Thomas arranges collages, stages photographs, places rhinestones, directs art films and layers up oil and acrylic paint, all in the name of beauty and feminism. Her glittering artworks are a homage to black culture, cubism, portraiture, ideas of the still life and what it is to be a woman. Initially inviting women into her studio and coercing an energy out of them, she aims to represent these ladies as “beautiful, sexual, desirable, stylish and fierce”. (Source) Thomas says she, as well as other black women have had to consider this question of beauty often:

Beauty has always been an element of discussion for black women, whether or not we were the ones having the conversation. We’ve had to contend with the element of our hair. Beauty pros and cons have changed the world of how we perceive each other. Some people go to great lengths to bleach themselves to conform to the norm, the whiteness, and all the complexities. (Source)

Thomas’ artwork is an exploration of how one presents themselves – the images we create of ourselves, how we chop and change our appearance, and why. She has been involved in a couple of different projects lately as well. Including designing pop star Solange Knowles’ EP cover and airing her directorial debut on HBO called “Happy Birthday To A Beautiful Woman” earlier this year. This art film is a kind of love letter to her mother – and an extension of her research into women and their identity. While her work is undeniably beautiful and luscious on the surface, she is concerned more with what that exterior is hiding. Thomas says:

I am drawn to objects and people that have undergone some kind of a hardship. They are beautiful and there is an artifice to them, but if you dig deeper, there’s another layer. (Source)

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Hide And Seek: Can You Find All Camouflaged Animals In This World Wildlife Fund Campaign?

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Art directors Anaïs Boileau and Samuel Volk are the dream team when it comes to creating short and snappy campaign ideas. This time around they have used their skills to benefit The World Wildlife Fund in a project called WWF/Botanimal. With flawless Photoshopping technique, they have camouflaged images of endangered animals into forested landscapes. With the tagline “Donate to save a tree and save 875,000 species for free”, this is one clever visual narrative detailing a worthy cause. Boileau and Volk show us exactly what these beautiful environments would be without the animals roaming around within them.

Boileau is also responsible for another campaign with a responsible message. Called WWF/WeWantFurniture.com, she imagined a brand and designed a corresponding website “selling” wood to customers. Apparently from all wood sold, 40 percent is made from illegal wood. She devised a very effective way to show customers  the ecological effects of buying cheap furniture. The effects of deforestation can be devastating, as we are reminded in this new campaign also.

Working with creative directors in a commercial environment, Boileau and Volk are able to maximize their reach to a large audience, and come up with visually interesting answers to complex questions. Boileau sums her work up nicely:

[Impassioned] by craft and art direction; I have been lucky to work with talented photographers, retouchers and CGI artists. The best part of my job is to imagine visual universes, and find creative solutions.

Click here to see more of Boileau’s work, including her hilarious take on disfigured fruits.
(Via Source)

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