The facial features of visitors standing in front of a monitor are extracted, and visually reproduced by several thousand flies that gather together accordingly on the white screen. However, even the slightest move causes the flies to dissolve and buzz around again, so that they appear to be portraying the visitor’s face only for a brief moment. While the visitor changes poses in front of the monitor, the flies are drawn together time and again to constantly create new portraits “on the fly.” As long as the visitor keeps moving, the portrait remains fluid, as the image drawn by the flies is repeatedly dissolved and reconfigured.
According to the artists, the work pursues the question “why we love to take and look at photographs of ourselves,” while at the same time discussing the vulnerability of digital media.
Photography as a contemporary digital medium—as opposed to photographs as evidence of things “that have been”—involves such problems as the transition between formats, and the durability of data, which is perhaps why we have no choice but to keep taking photographs in the form of uncertain data.
Shown in the Video Portraits are faces of important artists and curators in the realm of media art.