The portrait has long been a representation, a reflection, a human map; a testament to an individual’s existence, a mark in time. The scientific field of biometrics seems at times to run closely parallel to portraiture, for it is an attempt to describe, quantify and record the precise measure of a human being. Connections have often been drawn between scientific and artistic or creative observation. Biometric is an exhibition that makes a link between portraiture and the science and practice of biometrics and its technologies.

Six works in Biometric take the face as their starting point; four works focus on something other...scent, walk, breath, memory. Five of the works are by women; six by men. Some of the works reference or exist within pop culture, others chart a more formal exploration of the human subject. The works are gathered together from four continents. All push the boundaries of portraiture and question the measure of our existence.

Denis Beaubois

Constant
Denis Beaubois has created a shifting, uncertain portrait, morphing imperceptibly between 13,000 individual faces. Constant was created after conversations with scientists from the Forensic Psychology department at the University of New South Wales. Beaubois was interested in the increasing problem of wrongful imprisonment that occurred when the race of the accused was different to that of the accuser. The work plays with the conventions of portraiture and its reference to captivity.

Constant effectively blurs the boundaries of race and identity making it impossible to locate or identify any constant point of reference.
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Constant
Credits
Constant

Single Channel Digital Video, Colour, Mute

Duration: 8 minutes 40 seconds

2004

Courtesy the Artist (AP)
Biography

Christine Borland

Sim Baby
Christine Borland’s Sim Baby is a compelling and filmic observation of the eerie and uncertain boundary between human and human-simulation. Sim Baby dwells on the vital qualities of a replicant body. The work seems to question what capacities we have for empathy and our attraction for constructing narratives of life & death. Borland’s humanizing work often explores scientific and medical ethics, the science of genetic testing and references forensic techniques and observation. Borland was short-listed for UK’s Turner Prize.
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simbaby
Credits
Sim Baby

Single Channel Digital Video, Colour with Sound

Duration 9:00

2007

Courtesy the Artist (AP)
Biography

Jim Campbell

Cyclical Meter Base (Her Breath)
Cyclical Counter Base (Her Blinking)
Jim Campbell’s Cyclical Meter Base and Cyclical Counter Base emerge from his reflective Memory Work series. Two standard wall clocks measure the precise timing of an unnamed woman’s breathing and blinking. The details of the human subject can be variously constructed through memory, imagination and biometrics. Campbell’s evocative body of work explores how little information we require to infer human qualities and at what point we begin to construct a unique human identity.
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blinking breathing
Credits
Cyclical Meter Base (Her Breath)

Sculpture: Electric Clock, Electronics, Textile, Aluminium Box

1996

73” x 15” x 6”

Collection of Stephen Alpert



Cyclical Counter Base (Her Blinking)

Sculpture: Electric Clock, Electronics, Textile, Aluminium Box

1996

68” x 15” x 6”

Collection of Stephen Alpert
Biography

Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Stranger Visions: Sample 3 (Brooklyn)
Stranger Visions: Sample1 (East Hampton)
Heather Dewey-Hagborg collaborated with scientists to learn about genetic testing. She then worked at the Genspace lab in New York to create a series of compelling 3-D printed portraits from DNA found on discarded objects (gum, hair, cigarette butts). This installation of Stranger Visions consists of the portraits of two men, each displayed with a box containing the found elements from which their DNA was sourced as well as ‘forensic’ photos of the source locations. Hagborg’s provocative work references the ethics and culture of surveillance and genetic testing.
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stranger vision
Credits
Stranger Visions: Sample 3 (Brooklyn)

2012-2013

Sculptural Mask: 3-D Printing using Coloured Resins

8” x 6” x 6” (mask) 9” x 12” x 3” (box)

Courtesy of The Artist



Stranger Visions: Sample 1 (East Hampton)

2012- 2013

Sculptural Mask: 3-D Printing using Coloured Resins

8” x 6” x 6” (mask) 9” x 12” x 3” (box)

Courtesy of the Artist
Biography

Anthony Cerniello

Danielle
Anthony Cerniello is an emerging artist. Danielle comes from his interest in creating a portrait of aging, stripped of language structures. His goal was to create a portrait where the aging process is something one feels rather than sees. It is a compelling work of what appears to be one subject aging from child to elderly woman. It began with a portrait of his friend Danielle, and photographs of Danielle’s family members who bore a strong resemblance. Animators and a 3-D specialist helped the artist bring the subtle transitions to life.
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Danielle
Biography
Credits
Danielle

Single Channel Digital Video, Colour with Sound

Duration 5:00 minutes

2007

Courtesy the Artist (AP)

Ahree Lee

Me
Ahree Lee uses a daily portrait meme, a technique since readily adopted in popular culture. To produce the work ‘Me’, Lee has collected a self-portrait a day since 2001 (over 4500 separate images), spinning them into an obsessive 13 year, time-lapse portrait. The work continues to grow daily. For the 58 days the Biometric exhibition exists, Lee has agreed to a unique installation. She will send the gallery a daily portrait, to be added in real time. ‘Me’ was acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
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Ahree Lee
Credits
Me

2001 – Current (ongoing daily)

Single Channel Digital Video, Colour with Sound

Duration: Variable, increasing daily (about 8 minutes)

Courtesy the Artist
Biography

Julian Opie

Mechanic
Julian Opie creates deceptively simple and seductive graphic portraits that reference pop culture. He strips away what he considers the extraneous detail in each portrait to a few identifiable signifiers. As with biometric gait analysis, Opie keeps only the singular characteristics of a person’s gait. Lacking any facial detail, the portrait is at once an identifiable individual, a universal every-person and an abstraction. Six of Opie’s portraits have been collected by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
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Mechanic
Credits
Mechanic.

2014

Continuous computer animation on 62” monitor

Ed. 1/4

Courtesy the Artist (AP)
Biography

Julie Rrap

360 Degree Self Portrait
Julie Rrap’s monumental and captivating 360 Degree Self-Portrait has been referred to as ‘uncanny shape-shifting’. What is the subject seeing or experiencing? What forces are at play here? The work suggests the effect of time and gravity on the physical body, or perhaps from within. The female body and how it is represented, identified and commodified, has influenced and informed Rrap’s practice for decades. 360 Degree Self-Portrait received the 2009, University of Queensland national self-portrait prize in Australia.
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360 degree
Credits
360 Degree Self-Portrait

2009

Single Channel Digital Video, Colour, mute

Duration: 10:42

Edition of 3 + 1AP Courtesy of Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Collection of The University of Queensland
Biography

ShinSeungBack KimYongHun

Memory
Memory is a simple, digital tablet in a frame that recognizes human faces and superimposes them endlessly, one on top of another. The face that stares back at you is the average of all the faces it has ever seen. The work becomes a history of the frame itself, and all the people who have viewed the frame. Both artists have advanced experience with technology and see computers as akin to living creatures, responding to their environment.
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Memory
Credits
Memory

2013

Custom Software, tablet and wooden frame

24.5 cm x 30 cm x 3 cm

Time: Variable increasing

Courtesy the Artist (AP)
Biography
ShinSeungBack KimYongHun is a Seoul-based artist group consisting of two artists; Shin Seung Back and Kim Yong Hun.

Martynka Wawrzyniak

Scent Chamber
Martynka Wawrzyniak’s Scent Chamber is a potent, olfactory portrait installation. One experiences a self-portrait of the artist through 4 scents, each silently filtered into a featureless, circular white room. The scents are: hair, tears and night sweats and exertion sweat. The artist worked with scientific researchers at Hunger College, and perfumers to extract, then accurately recreate the scents. The work has evocative connections to memory and the social history and politics of Communist Poland where the artist grew up.
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Scent
Credits
Scent Chamber

2012

Chamber: plywood, drywall, paint, cotton curtain, light, diffuser, oils

144” x 122” x 152”

Courtesy Envoy Enterprises, NYC + the Artist
Biography