Throughout civilisation humans have made artistic and sculptural works to commemorate gods, leaders, loved ones; from giant heads carved in rock, through portraiture to selfies. Now, through the evolution and democratisation of technology, capturing and commemorating ourselves has never been easier.
Last year, London-based designer and artist David Hunter, was commissioned by the Barbican Centre in London to create the sculpture Approximate, a colossal head inspired by the Easter Island Moai.
Approximate merges the monumental statues of ancient civilisations with the selfies of today’s digital society in a compelling visual spectacle. A huge, translucent head, similar to the ancient artefacts found on Easter Island, interacts with audiences through cameras and facial recognition software. As the head recognises a face in front of it, it renders an approximation of it in a low resolution grid of lights. When no face is recognised, the head processes and renders in real-time historical climate data - a reflection on the potential cost to the environment as humans use nature’s resources to recreate impressions of themselves.
Approximate was greatly inspired by reading and researching about Rapa Nui, Moai and Easter Island, a Chilean territory.
Here is a link to a video: https://vimeo.com/dhunter/approximate