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The Face of Tomorrow
Jamais Cascio, 11 Sep 04

The Face of Tomorrow is an ongoing combined art and anthropology project examining global identity. The artist "Mike Mike" takes 100 photographs of individuals in different cities around the world, then uses "morphing" software to create combined average faces for each location, male and female (usually -- in a few locations, Ankara, Instanbul and Damascus, only men were photographed). The resulting face is haunting, attractive, and suggestive of what tomorrow's demography will hold.

The site currently has face composites from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Spain, Portugal (where the image in this post is from), Turkey, Syria, China and Australia. Mike Mike is currently working on more cities, and has an open call for contributions of images. He refers to the process as "open source," and spells out in detail just how the photos are taken, and what is to be done with them. He's also selling a poster and book to help support the project.

It's no surprise that the results show attractive composite faces, even while the individual parts of the composite are quite normal-looking. It's long been recognized that blended "averaged" faces look startlingly attractive. Although the project doesn't bias for attractiveness, it does bias towards youth -- the average age in the world is 25, Mike Mike argues, and tomorrow belongs to the young.

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Comments

Fantastic project. Now I'd like to see what lies within, for more crucial to our qualtiy of life. Will we be peaceful, critically conscious, loving people? Or will we be greedy consumers supporting wars and tolerating injustice? I'd like to see a project that does with consciousness what Mike Mike has done with faces.


Posted by: Aaron Campbell on 11 Sep 04



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