Portraiture has historically been a means to immortality for the sitter. Traditionally portraits are staged, single moments bound by the time in which the individual modeled for the artist. Lincoln Schatz builds on this tradition with a new multi-disciplinary work, Cube Portraits, that combines attributes of architecture, sculpture, new media, relational aesthetics, and performance to create contemporary portraits through video and computer technology.
Cube Portraits, a 10’ x 10’ translucent architectural structure, extends from the artist’s formal background as a sculptor and draws on his more recent practice in generative video memory artworks. Cube Portraits is designed with 24 video cameras mounted at varying heights within the structure. During a one-hour sitting, digital capture from each video camera is streamed to a computer that houses the artist’s specially designed software. The resulting portrait is compiled from thousands of randomly selected video files; these infinitely re-configuring images are presented on a plasma screen powered by a computer. 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.
Acknowledging the tradition of portraits as biographical, the subjects in Cube Portraits are encouraged to represent their personalities, interests and values in whatever capacity they choose. The artist collaborates with the participants to help them develop their own conceptual approach to an hour in the Cube Portraits.