In this series, I create Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning generated faces drawing inspiration from traditional mask cultures of different regions of India. Throughout our years of existence as a culture, we’ve crafted and performed several kinds of rituals and ceremonies, both collective and individualistic as acts of transformation and transcendence. Masks and face transformative decorations have been fundamental across the Indian culture in our journeys into unknown realms, in our celebrations of the malleability of human representation, or as a tool for practical disguise and entertainment. It helps us engage with our world from a completely new vantage point, augmenting our sense of self, very similar to what technology, especially AI enables today. What happens when these media of transcendence collide? Can we teach machines about our cultural heritage, and as a result make them an instrument for our own exploration and engagement with our heritage. This series consists of both prints and an interactive work.
Masked Reality 1, 2. 15×19 inch each. Archival Print on Paper. 2018.
Masked Reality 3,4 . 15×19 inch each. Archival Print on Paper. 2018.
Masked Reality 5,6. 15×19 inch each. Archival Print on Paper. 2018.
Masked Reality. Real-Time Interactive Installation. Audience Face Transformed to Faces Inspired from Dance Rituals of Southern India. Dimensions Variable. Webcam, Digital Screen. 2018.
This is an interactive installation piece with a machine generated face transformation done in real time on a webcam input, based on training the machine on traditional dance rituals from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
The video output is not very smooth here because i was running this neural network on a not so powerful GPU. With something beefier (like an NVIDIA 1080Ti), this would be much smoother.