Week 8 Activity : Remix Culture

Art 110

For this week’s “remix” activity, I started off wanting to do some sort of collage. After going through magazines and cutting up strips of their pages, I realized what I’d wanted to do was actually harder than it seemed. I wanted to juxtapose things and try to make some kind of statement, but many of the pictures read similarly or ended up looking too busy. Before I scrapped the whole thing, I put the strips of paper together which was much more amusing, but I still wanted to do more with the idea.

Professor Glenn suggested the frequency of strips may have been the reason it looked so busy and confusing and after looking again at my project I completely agree. Maybe if I had planned out the strips better I could have made it more minimalistic and visually pleasing (or at least not quite as overwhelming)

I started looking up faces of celebrities, since I thought it might be fun to combine them like I had combined the magazine pages. After finding many from weird angles and of horrible quality, I magically stumbled on a page with an almost endless supply of the pictures I was looking for. These apparently came from an artist, Martin Schoeller, who photographs not only celebrities, but ordinary people as well. After more research into his work, Face to Face, I found his goal is not just to take nice portraits, but also to make us aware of how we view people and of how our differences make us more unique. I thought this went somewhat well with this week’s challenge, since he is attempting to remix, not something visual or audio, but instead our thought patterns (with a very traditional medium nonetheless) which I thought was pretty inspiring. So, if you’d like to see a video of Schoeller explaining his work, here’s a link:


Back to the project: I saved a bunch of celebrity faces I recognized, and with the help of Photoshop, I used a weird layout to match up the chins and pupils of the people in the pictures so the basic shapes stacked neatly. Then, I proceeded to split them up into five sections (forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and chin) so they could be flipped through. I tried to make it interactive, so the viewer can change each part however they like and have fun putting the faces together strangely.

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Here’s the Pop Idol Remix

If you have photoshop (and if this actually works) you can view the whole crazy thing here and change it around yourself: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By59pUjNTMgQTzNBTTBVUmlFWE0/view?usp=sharing

If you don’t have photoshop but still want to see what it looks like without the crazy spaces in between, here’s a few examples:

 1 2 sample

 4 example1 example 3

They obviously don’t line up perfectly, but some seem to make pretty realistic remixed people. It’s fun trying to see if you can recognize the celebrity each piece comes from, too.

It’s funny, from spending so much time trying to fit all the faces to a grid and segment them, I ended up looking more at how the faces and their parts were all so different from each other. You would think fitting human faces to a simple grid would be easy; we do all basically have the same layout after all. But, with so many different shapes and sizes not just of the faces, but the parts inside them as well, it was a lot easier to see Scholler’s point – our little quirks and special attributes are what set us apart. It’s these unique things that make it easy to tell one person’s eyes or nose from another’s, even without the context of the rest of their face. Even though the subjects of this project are the celebrities we idolize, perhaps through ‘remixing’ their faces we can realize they too have flaws that probably make them self conscious, and we can see these are the traits we remember and admire them for. So maybe with that “remixed” mindset, we can all sing Born this Way or Firework and feel perfect with our flaws or something.

Sorry I just watched this and couldn’t help it

And since I was sad I couldn’t find any good portrait photos of Freddie Mercury, this happened:


And Freddie said, Let there be rock; and there was rock. And Freddie saw the rock, and it was good.


One thought on “Week 8 Activity : Remix Culture

  1. Really nice work Christen!

    I’d suggest keep looking… I bet somebody out there has a flipbook app for you. For desktop or mobile. Seems like it could be a mobile toy especially, so look around there.

    You could make an Animated GIF in Photoshop… that’d do exactly what you want… except it’d be predone… viewers could only “watch” it, not effect it. You could make a video, with the same issue.

    You could do an html MOUSEOVER effect, that WOULD be what you want and interactive with the viewer. It’d be “easy” to do for only 2 images, and you can get it to work for more images with a few more tricks.

    Next week, week 10, is “Student’s Choice Activity” where you can try anything you like, or go deeper on one of the 1st 9 activities. If you like you could work more with this. Either way, LMK at the galleries today if I can help with Photoshop or Mouseover, etc.

    Your first collages perhaps weren’t as interesting as you wanted because the images were too similar? Perhaps more disparate images? For example a fashion image and an image of hunger?

    Or maybe the strips are too “high frequency”? What if you 2 photos, headshots say, and cut each in half, and juxtaposed those? That’d give more weight to the individual images and still let us consider the new ideas in the diptych.

    We can talk at the galleries today if you want help with Photoshop or HTML, etc.

    Keep up the great work!


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