Wednesday 19 March 2014

“FACCE. I molti volti della storia umana”, an open source exhibition

It's been more than one year since the conclusion of the Taung Project and many things have happened. Today I want to post something related with one of the most important derivations of this project: the exhibition "FACCE. I molti volti della storia umana" (en "Faces. The many aspects of human history"). The event is organized by the Anthropological Museum of the University of Padua, from an idea of Dott. Nicola Carrara, and it is a cooperation between the Museum, the University, Arc-Team and Antrocom NPO (the same actors of the Taung Project). I will not go into details of the exhibition, due to the fact it is still a work in progress being its opening planned for October 2014, but I post the preliminary presentation we did during the European Academic Heritage Day 2013 ("Down the Rabbit hole", backstage of knowledge production).

 As you ague form the title, the main topic of the exhibition is the human face, which, in the words of the French photograper Gisele Freund, is also the "the only part of the body to be exposed naked to the first comer." Actually the thematic sessions planned for the event are six:

1. "Guardiamo in faccia la diversità umana" (en "Let's face human diversity"), which is dedicated to human evolution and will take advantage of the forensic facial reconstructions of the principal actors in the phylogenetic human three, preformed by the Brazilian digital artist +Cícero Moraes.

2. "Una faccia, una razza?" (en "One face, one race?"). This section will show the division of mankind into races proposed by various authors in the 700-800, which will have more deleterious effects in the first decades of the 1900s. Nowadays, thanks especially to human genetic studies, we can say that the division of Homo sapiens into races is just a cultural and social construction, without any sense in biology.

3.  "Una faccia, un destino?" (en "A face, a fate?"), in which the main topic will be physiognomy, analyzed from the artistic aspects of the XVI century till the pseudoscientific approach in the XIX century criminology in connection with phrenology, another famous pseudoscience, well-accepted in the same period.

4. "Con quella faccia un po' così" (quote from the popular Italian song "Genova per Noi" of the singer Paolo Conte), a session in which will be proposed different forensic facial reconstructions of historical personalities connected with the city of Padua.

5. "Ma che faccia fai?" (Italian popular expression). This part of the exhibition will be dedicated to human facial expressions.

6. "Dalla faccia alla maschera: il volto simbolico" (en "From the face to the mask: the symbolic aspect"). The final session will take advantage from the contribute of the Museo Internazionale della Maschera, Amleto e Donato Sartori and will show the symbolic aspect of the face: the mask.

The contribute of Arc-Team to the exhibition, in addition to the forensic facial reconstructions that will be created by our expert (+Cícero Moraes), will cover the touristic fruition of the event through scientific interactive installations mainly based on Computer Vision (from Augmented Reality to Facial Recognition and Motion Capture). In the presentation you can see some of the projected prototype, as well as some sources of inspiration (e.g. the movie "A scanner Darkly") some examples from the software we will use (e.g. Openframeworks). 

As you probably guessed from the title of this post, the main peculiarity of this event will be the fact that it can be considered an "open source exhibition", maybe the first of its kind, due to the fact that all the produced material will be released under the therms of the Creative Commons Attribution, which is a license approved for free cultural works. Moreover open techniques will be used also to collect material for the exhibition itself, with specific crowedsourcing campaigns, while part of the budget will be probably collected wit crowdfunding. I will have time to post more news about these last two topics, by now I just hope that you'll enjoy the presentation below (like always, to navigate just click on the image and use the spacebar to browse the slides).

For a better visualization, click here

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