Cube Video Portraits: Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, 2007

Cube Portraits, a new series of video portraits by Lincoln Schatz, builds and expands on the traditions of portraiture. Each portrait combines attributes of architecture, sculpture, new media, relational aesthetics, and performance to create contemporary portraits through video and computer technology. Portraiture has historically been a means to immortality for the sitter. Portraits have traditionally been single, staged moments in time. An expectation of fixed and static immortality is attached to them. However, with the Cube, this is not the case.

 

Cube Video Portraits

The Cube is a 10’ x 10’ translucent architectural structure forms the physical structure for Cube Portraits. To begin, this project extends from the Lincoln Schatz’s formal background as a sculptor and draws on his more recent practice in generative video memory artworks. The outside of the Cube has 24 video cameras mounted at varying heights around the structure. To begin with, for one hour, digital capture from each video camera is streaming to a computer that houses Schatz’s specially designed software.

Through this process, 24 cameras generate a 24-hour rendering that extends beyond the historical notions of portraiture as a static image and creates a lasting record that is wholly dynamic in its ability to reconfigure images and reorder time. Once recording is complete, the resulting portrait is compiled from thousands of randomly selected video files. Because the video files are infinitely re-configuring themselves in real-time, no single moment of the artwork will be the same.

The tradition of portraiture is always in relationship to biography. Here, the subjects in these video portraits are encouraged to represent their personalities, interests and values in whatever capacity they choose. Every time, for each portrait, Schatz collaborates with the subjects to help them develop their own conceptual approach to an hour in the Cube Portraits.