MegaFaces

Sochi / Russian Federation / 2014

4
4 Love 1,550 Visits Published

MegaFaces is a cross platform project (digital, sculptural and architectural) conceived and built at the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics which took place from February to March 2014. Our interest was to create a monument to celebrate people, regardless of their status as athletes or spectators, their age, nationality, sexuality or gender. For thousands of years people have used portraiture to record their history on the landscape, buildings and through public art. We are a long way from the days of Mount Rushmore and the epic figurative sculptures of Soviet artists such as Vera Mukhina, yet these monumental depictions of our ‘heroes’ - whether Presidents or the aspirational ‘Everyman’ remain captivating to us. Today the internet is how we record our history. “Emoticons”, “Selfies”, “Facebook”, “FaceTime” etc. have become universal tools for communicating, and the face persists as the prevalent shorthand in these new mediums. Formed by 11,000 actuators sitting underneath the building's stretchy skin, the kinetic facade of the MegaFaces pavilion is able to transform in three dimensions to recreate the faces of visitors to the building. Facial impressions are created once every minute and are relayed to the kinetic facade from multi-camera 3D scans made in proprietary instant 3D photo booths installed within the building and in public locations across Russia. An electronic queuing system manages the face data and enables participants’ names to be displayed within and in front of the pavilion on screens, which indicate the time their face will appear. The system also sends an SMS message to participants with this information. A scaling and positioning algorithm was developed which transforms the faces on-the-fly considering day lighting, scale, rotation, form and additional colour. Each of the facade transformations is filmed and the feed is simultaneously chopped into individual clips. Participants are emailed permanent link to their video. The 11,000 actuators carry at their tip a translucent sphere that contains an RGB-LED light. The actuators are connected in a bidirectional system that makes it possible to control each one individually, and at the same time also report back its exact position to the system. Each actuator acts as one pixel within the entire façade and can be extended by up to two meters as part of a three-dimensional shape or change colour as part of an image or video that is simultaneously displayed on the façade. For MegaFaces we have effectively created the world’s first three- dimensionally actuated large-scale LED screen.
The resultant portraits appear on the side of the building, three at a time, at 8 metres tall - a magnification of 3500% - larger, in fact than the Statue of Liberty’s face.

4 users love this project
Comments
    comment
    Enlarge image

    MegaFaces is a cross platform project (digital, sculptural and architectural) conceived and built at the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics which took place from February to March 2014. Our interest was to create a monument to celebrate people, regardless of their status as athletes or spectators, their age, nationality, sexuality or gender. For thousands of years people have used portraiture to record their history on the landscape, buildings and through public art. We are a long way from...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Work finished in 2014
    • Client Megafon
    • Status Temporary works
    • Type Exhibitions /Installations
    Archilovers On Instagram
    Lovers 4 users