Barcelona-based artist Sergio Albiac puts a stunning spin on Carl Sagan's iconic description of humanity's cosmic origins with his latest project, Stardust Portraits. Now's your chance to see your face drawn with galaxies,reimagined in a celestial form. And best of all, it's totally free.
Participants submit photos to Albiac, who then runs them through his custom-created software. From there, an algorithm chooses two images captured by the Hubble Telescope and blends them into a collage of human features, stars, nebulae and galaxies. Albiac’s generative process removes the artist from creative decision-making process, instead leaving each portrait’s outcome in the mechanical hands of technology. But the results aren’t sterile; in fact, the dreamy collages are the exact opposite of that. No two portraits look alike, with some appearing far more human (note the mustaches and glasses) while others look like colorful blurs of space stuff. “I’m interested in the effect of chance on human experience,” he explains. “Generative art, which basically outsources artistic and aesthetic decisions, is a fascinating approach to express these kind of concepts.”
Best of all, you can get generative portraits of yourself, for free! Albiac outlines the details on his website:
Provide a photo of yourself and get three free generative portraits in digital form. The steps are:
1. You upload a frontal face photo of yourself (in jpg format) to your Google Drive cloud storage. You just need a google account (gmail, google+,...). If you don't have one, you can sign up for one. It's free. (note: I am not promoting nor endorsing Google services here. It is just a convenient tool for this project). How to use Google Drive.
2. Once uploaded to Drive, you share the photo with firstname.lastname@example.org with "can edit" access level. Don't send the photo or the share link by email! Just use the share function in Google Drive with that address. Don't worry, only that photo is shared. All other documents will be private to you. How to share a photo in Google Drive.
3. Wait. All photos will be reviewed and approved manually before entering the generative process to ensure they comply with the requirements of the project (see Q&A below).
4. Hopefully in less than three days you will have three generative portraits written as new versions of your original photo. Check your Google Drive space. Your original photo will still be there as the first version.
Generated portraits are currently being posted at the Flickr Stardust Portrait exhibition. We'll be submitting photos of our own presently. You should do the same, then share your portraits in the comments below!