Mark Mothersbaugh, who happens to be one of my favorite musicians/composers, will have a show entitled, “Beautiful Mutants,” in Downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. The show opens on November 6th and it will feature photographs that have been digitally altered, but for a very interesting reason. In fact, check inside to see Mothersbaugh’s explanation of the show at hand.
People are all hiding something. Many know exactly what that is, while most probably have no idea. Our asymmetrical exterior hides the true contents of each of us.
Aztec Indians built gigantic Kaleidoscopic pyramids that focused light from the sun through complex polished silver mirrors that reflected and flipped images of humans onto walls, giving rise to the celebration of a quest for true symmetry in their lives. In the 1800’s people would flirt with these ideas and play parlor games with signatures, paper cuttings, etc. It was in the early 1900’s that Rorschach and other psychiatrists developed theories and medical practices (inverted, as it turned out) based on their intuitive hunches regarding symmetry and the internal workings of man. Humans, great pretenders to bi-lateral symmetry, are in actuality, closer to potatoes in their lack of precise symmetry. A closer look reveals what is truly inside the people around us.
The photographs in this show were corrected in order to examine those who have walked the planet before us. Theoretically symmetrical in generalities, the subtle potato-like qualities of the human form allow the tenants of these bodies to hide within their asymmetric muddiness.
These corrected photographic images allow the true tenant of these human faces and figures to be ‘flushed-out’ and viewed without the disguise that we all so expertly hide behind.
For this project, old photographs were “corrected” using a combination of both antiquarian hand-crafting and modern computer technology. Other images have been enlarged to reveal details that might be over-looked at a smaller size.
These images were my personal favorites from over 3000 different tests created between 1999 and 2007 from original image sources that included personal photography, old photo booth strips, and daguerreotypes and ambrotypes obtained from a wide variety of sources including research facilities, antique shops located around the world, and online auction sites.