Abstract photographic portraits of the G8 world leaders composed using the multitude of images returned by Google image searches blended into one single picture. Using custom made software, each image returned by Google is stacked on top of each other, and the total set of the query results is condensed into a single emotional impression. Each pixel captures the light and color details of numerous original images, and the huge algorithmic details displayed in large dimensions challenge the viewer to fuse his physiological perceptions with their digital representations in a world of big data.
The digital portraits are part of a large scale installation which makes a historic reference to the evolution of Modernist landscape painting, from Pointillism -a painting method developed by neo-impressionists analogous to the four-color CMYK printing process- to Abstract Expressionism. Those references highlight the consistency of human perception in the analog and digital domains, where the Pointillist distinct dots of color capturing multiple lights and colors have now become pixels generated in a way that creates the same condensed effect. The clustering of many different images portraying the same query term on a large size print is also a reference to Claude Monet’s impressionist method of painting the same scene many times to capture the essence of passing seasons, trying also to immerse the viewer into grand scale landscape paintings. And from a distance, the effect is also similar to experiencing large-scale canvases by Color Field abstractionists like Mark Rothko or Barnett Newman.
Each digital image was created by bulk downloading the first 400 images returned by Google image search (https://images.google.com/) using each of the G8 countries’ leader name as query term. All primary images were then stacked using custom made software to process their mean color value per pixel, and increase the dynamic range of colors retaining the richness of their original detailed variety. No manual pre-selection of images or any post-production corrections have been made.
All images ©Anestis Anestis