The Latest Digital Face Manipulation Software Will Have You Questioning All Reality

Let’s face it: we’re an empire built on illusions. Media, Social Media, Politics, take your pick. But what if you could program any video, of any person, to say and do what you wanted?  Becoming a digital puppeteer of sorts.  Right now, face-swapping on Snapchat may be cool for petty amusement, but manipulating Donald Trump’s Fox News interview to advocate building Mosques in San Diego instead of a wall, in real time, might be even cooler.

Welcome to the world of Face2Face.

Visiting Stanford scientist, Matthias Niessner built upon existing Stanford research using web cameras that capture 3D facial gestures as a means of “live facial re-enactment.” As stated in The New York Times, Dr. Niessner’s goal was to use this technique to improve modern technology by means of instantaneous language translation via Skype, and improved qualities of virtual reality and dubbing in movies.

In incredibly simplistic terms, the way Face2Face works is by training itself on a Target Actor (like Donald Trump talking) and a Source Actor (like you or me) to track both facial expressions and gestures by mapping them accordingly via a commodity webcam. Once mapped, the Source Actor can seamlessly manipulate facial re-enactment in real time of the Target Actor, and let the puppeteering begin!

 

 

THE CURIOUS WORLD OF ANTTI LAITINEN

by Ariadna Zierold

antti laitinen, art, work, nature, finland, finnish, tree, boat, sea, the citrus report

Finnish artist Antti Laitinen’s works begin with a plan, but the final pieces are usually the result of circumstances and outcomes beyond his control. Laitinen, who has a background in photography and multimedia art, primarily stages performances that he then documents or records. Many of his projects involve open-ended, experimental, or durational activities; previous undertakings have included a photographic series produced while Laitinen lived in a forest without clothes, food, or water; rowing across bodies of water in various self-fashioned vessels; and drawings made by pressing his sweaty body on a surface. Disparate as his works are, they explore recurring themes of chance, endurance, communion with nature, absurd humor, and the passage of time.

antti laitinen, art, work, nature, finland, finnish, tree, boat, sea, the citrus report

Many of Laitinen’s works deal directly with fundamental issues of Finnish identity and cultural imagery – they are pictures of masculinity set in a context of nature and culture. And yet, Laitinen is not just a humorist playing around with cultural meanings – his work attests to the presence and attitude of an author who is aware of the tradition of experimental performance art. Often we see Laitinen pushing the boundaries of his physical endurance and comfort in order to engage with the world and thus creating a dialogue between the artist’s exploration of his own identity and the wilderness.

antti laitinen, art, work, nature, finland, finnish, tree, boat, sea, the citrus report

In Laitinen’s case, the term work needs be defined with care. Many of his works are actually composed of various stages in the process of its making, when he moves from one medium and semantic context to the next. The switch produces a new, independent work, which then becomes part of the overall piece and thus incorporating different temporal stages.

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Jennifer Rubell’s Life-Sized Nutcrackers

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First shown at the Dallas Contemporary in late 2011 and back on display at Frieze this past weekend, we are huge fans of Jennifer Rubell’s life-sized nutcrackers… that actually work as nutcrackers. From her site, in regards to their showing in Dallas:

“Each prefabricated female mannequin is mounted on her side in an odalisque position and has been retooled to function as a nutcracker. Visitors interact with each sculpture by placing a pecan in the mannequin’s inner thigh, then pushing down the upper leg to crack open the nut so they may eat it in the gallery. Inspired by nutcrackers depicting female figures – and in particular one found on the internet of Hillary Clinton – these interactive sculptures embody the two polar stereotypes of female power: the idealized, sexualized nude female form; and the too-powerful, nut-busting überwoman. The work also serves as a prompt to action, encouraging the viewer to transgress the traditional viewer-artwork boundary and complete the work by participating in it.”

From The Citrus Report

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Alice Neel “Late Portraits & Still Lifes” @ David Zwirner, NYC

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We checked out a beautifully sparse show at David Zwirner in NYC this past weekend, Alice Neel’s Late Portraits & Still Lifes. Zwirner has been representing the artist’s estate for nearly 5 years, and this is the second exhibition at the gallery. Neel passed away in 1984.

From Zwirner… “This exhibition includes portraits and still lifes made between 1964 and 1983, the last two decades of Neel’s life. The portraits affirm the shift in her work towards more luminous compositions, as witnessed for example in Abe’s Grandchildren (1964) and Richard (1969), where the background is partially rendered and supplanted by abstract areas of paint. Likewise, in the still lifes—a genre Neel continued to address throughout her career—such changes are evident in the arbitrary use of perspective and the artist’s bright palette. In Still Life (Breakfast Table) (1965), a bird’s eye view of a strident yellow table is set off by many of the objects on its surface, which are shown from their sides, and in Light (1980), a shadow cast by a sun-lit table omits the flowers arranged on its source. In other still lifes, potted plants and cut flowers take on anthropomorphic presences, and even hint at a subtle version of self-portraiture. Aside from two paintings made in her family home in New Jersey, and a portrait from San Francisco, all of the works in the show were painted in New York.”

From The Citrus Report

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Shepard Fairey “Harmony & Discord” @ Pace Prints, NYC

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A good show we saw this weekend in NYC, and whatever your preconceived opinions are of Shepard Fairey’s work, in a slick gallery in Chelsea like Pace Prints, the work looks outstanding.

Pace Prints is pleased to present Harmony & Discord, an exhibition of new works by Shepard Fairey, created in the Pace Editions studios in New York. This is Shepard’s first exhibition with Pace Prints and premiers his first works in handmade paper as well as the largest screenprints he has done to date.

Harmony & Discord references the global dichotomy of politics; what forces it creates on the grand scale and how that reflects on the actions and awareness of the individual. Responding to the energy of New York, Fairey worked on this technically complex body of work in a series of sessions at the Pace Editions studios. During this residency he also went out on the streets and made a number of large murals.

On view will be a number of silkscreens done with collage and spraypaint, as well as handmade paper, embossment and relief prints, and large metal plates with screenprint. Though Shepard approached the work in the same way that he does in his studio, Pace Editions provided the opportunity to scale the work to a larger size. Relating to the surfaces of his street work, the hand painted multiple (HPM) works in this series have backgrounds of stenciled pulp, collage, screenprint and embossment, allowing the image to pop off of its vintage, layered surface. This exhibition also marks the first time Fairey presents metal relief plates as art pieces, layered with silkscreen, furthering spatial extent within the work.

From The Citrus Report

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First Friday: 2Pac (Makaveli) “Hail Mary”

If we are going to celebrate the work of Michael Miller and his exhibition at FIFTY24SF Gallery, “West Coast Hip-Hop: A History in Pictures,” then we are going to celebrate 2Pac’s last studio album, Makaveli and the The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and “Hail Mary.” Hard to imagine this man was only 26. Legend. Of. The. Game.

From The Citrus Report

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Sage Vaughn @ MOCA for Transmission LA

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Good friend and a very fine artist, Sage Vaughn, who showed at our FIFTY24SF Gallery this past November and December, has his work in the epic Beastie Boy Mike D curated Transmission LA at MOCA 17-day exhibition. Mouthful, but you get it. We saw that Sage posted his wall of envelopes, which look especially fantastic all orderly like this. His envelopes are always really great snippets into his style and method, some of our favorite work around. Love this wall.

Merkley???

Picture 10 Merkley??? Photography merkeley??? interview girls

James Pawlish talks to San Francisco photographer Merkley??? about his influences, nudity, Mormons and new book entitled ZZZ??? Zebras, Zeppelins & Zucchinis.

JP:Who is Merkley??? Tells us a little bit about your personal life and upbringing.

Merkley???: Hey, that’s ME! I’m Merkley??? I grew up Mormon in Utah with two step moms, two step dads and 17 siblings some of whom share DNA and others who are merely Steps a.k.a “invaders”.

I am The Heavyweight Sleep Champion of The World and I eat my own weight in mexican food every 20 minutes. Old Faithful ain’t got shit on me.

Even though I make pictures of mostly naked people, the subject of sex or eroticism still gives me the heegeebeegees.

Yes I reinvented that word to pay proper homage to The Bee Gees without whom I would be completely lost fashion wise. Blame nobody but yourselves. Blame nobody but yourselves.

BTW, I am STILL technically a Mormon. I think that’s pretty fucking cool.

I baptized people in Brazil you know, Yeah, LOTS even. I’m still good friends with my favorite missionary companion there. He is now married… to a MAN.

I think he too is still technically Mormon.

You asked.

Picture 2 Merkley??? Photography merkeley??? interview girls

You have a pretty unique sense of style? Where do you get those three piece corduroy suits of yours? I heard you have a different color one for every day of the week.

Ha, this means I get to talk more about The Bee Gees. I have stolen most everything I am from those fine brothers and you know what? My father claims that we are RELATED to them. I know right? I can’t prove it but there certainly are a LOT of Gibbs in the bloodline. From Whales even. I don’t know if the Gibbs in the Bee Gees have welsh ancestry, I’m told they do but you can google if you want.

Anyway, yeah I actually have 31 suits all the same. There is a nice lady in Hoi An Vietnam that makes them for me. We do everything over yahoo video chat. You all can Skype as much as you want but Thuy ‘n I like to keep it old school.

I once talked with her about The Bee Gees when she was making the pattern for the first suit.

I wasn’t planning on this being so much about The Bee Gees, I swear.

Picture 3 Merkley??? Photography merkeley??? interview girls

A lot of your photos incorporate props and uniquely crafted installations. How would describe your creative process?

You know how when you are five years old, Mormon, upper lower class and you don’t have a lot of toys so you play with groceries, sticks, bugs, cardboard boxes, dead rodents, dead batteries, dead plants, Broken radios, Upside down TV’s, neighbors pets and stuff from your mom’s closet?

No?

Well it’s exactly like that.

Picture 6 Merkley??? Photography merkeley??? interview girls

Your work has this sarcastic/fuck you attitude to it that’s hilarious. Tells us about this side of your personality.
I have no idea what “sarcastic” means.

My turn to Google. hold on.

Ok, I just read what that means and FUCK YOU for saying it.

I’m totally sincere about everything always and forever infinity.

Picture 7 Merkley??? Photography merkeley??? interview girls

When did you first pick up a camera. How has your style evolved over the years?

I’m guessing I probably picked on up as a baby at some point although I probably just slobbered on it and tossed it just out of reach. Then I probably crapped my pants and cried.

I don’t remember much about my infancy so lets skip ahead to the year 2000 when I bought a palm pilot attachment that let me make digital photos that were about 300