“As We Are” is a fourteen-foot, 3-D universal human head made from ribbons of ultra-bright, LED screens. In the back of the neck is a photo booth capable of taking 3D pictures. Once a visitor has their picture taken, they step out of the booth and their head is displayed on the giant head.
The sculpture addresses the relationship between self and representation of self, asking the subject of the portrait to reconsider presence through magnification. It is intended to provide amusement and evoke larger discussions around the phenomena of social media, diversity, and the power dynamic of public art.
Matthew Mohr outlined the design and interface and it was engineered and fabricated by Design Communications Limited in Boston. Imaging by Direct Dimensions, interface by Creosphere. Screens were custom made by Sansi North America.
There are twenty-nine cameras taking simultaneous pictures of the visitor’s face. A 3D model of the participant is also made and all twenty-nine images are stitched together on to the model.
This allows the system to slightly modify the placement of the eyes and length of nose to better fit the form of the head.
‘As We Are’ resides in a public place accessible by all and is designed to achieve an imposing stature similar to traditional public monuments. It utilizes a power dynamic usually reserved for notable, heroic, governing figures and instead allows every participant to experience a modern representation of acknowledgment.
“Because this sculpture is the first of its kind, there was no way to know how people would react. From my own experience, I knew that it would be very intense for some participants. I suspected that many that would love to have their picture taken and some would not want to go anywhere near the photo booth. I guessed many people would take pictures to share on social media, conceptually amplifying the message. ” says Matthew.