Ambiguity: Shapeism

My midterm assignment was heavily inspired by the previous examples of pointillism with the pixels of an image. Ambiguity of the human expression was the concept that I am trying to convey through this body of work. I was initially inspired by some of the things I’ve been learning about in a philosophy class I’m taking. The whole idea is that humanity; our existence, our purpose and our eventual demise is completely ambiguous and attempting to make sense of something vague is an intrinsic nature of our species. Portraying subjects in an altered but somehow still familiar form allows me to seek out a varied array of responses from the viewers, what one may see as a bright, happy image could be simultaneously perceived as gothic/tragic. My goal was to capture a bold/easily recognizable subject and alter it computationally so as to arrive at an image that is completely ambiguous or vague, one that the view could only roughly make out from the shapes he/she is seeing.

It was from the code we had seen on pointillism that I based my code. My thought process included asking questions like what basic shaped could everything be stripped down to and still remain somewhat recognizable. I tried making the ellipses at first because that was interesting, however the results from that weren’t as captivating as I’d hoped. So, I attempted the same with rectangles/squares and triangle. I was extremely pleased by these two results more than when I combined both the squares and triangles.

Further more to add another layer of depth to this I used another piece of code to further edit these pictures because I wanted to have a contrast between the warm yellowy tones I had produced. This program was simply to swtich all the red pixels to blue to create the blue tinted images and then I did went further and set all of them to gray to create the grayscale images.

Lastly I decided that I wanted to combine these different versions in the same image so I used photoshop to have them be a side by side collage. I think this promoted the idea of ambiguity because the viewer can compare the different illusions of what they see in each image.

My subject for this assignment was my beautiful, co-operative roommate Liz. I chose to capture her performing completely mundane activities like walking around, opening her jewelry box etc. And with the code used I was able to create this obscure and vague collection of work that truly portrays the ambiguity of the human expression. The lack of clarity from the enlarged pixels leaves her facial expression completely in the eyes of the viewer as well as the objects she is holding. She could have been laughing, crying, screaming etc., and all you would see is what ever expression you decide to give to her in the image.