SURI//NORDIC HEAT PORTRAITS
Overall the project is inspired by the French biologist Louis Pasteur (1822 — 1895) and his discovery of microorganisms and their complex interaction with their surroundings, which they affect and in return are affected by in their development. Humans are colonized by many microorganisms; many more non-human cells as human cells including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and viruses.
The project consists of 8 generated heatmap-portraits reflecting different color-schemes due to their different geographical locations. It modulates the idea of the classical portraiture moving towards an understanding of the face as a sensed, mapped landscape; a wet zone full of microbes.
A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the values contained in a matrix are represented as colors.
The heat maps are based on photos taken by the German photographer Hans Silvester of tribe members from the Suri Tribe from the west side of the Omo River in the Omo Valley in south-western Ethiopia characterized by there use of natural headwear of flowers, fruits, leaves, grasses, shells and animal horns, as well as the nordic collaborative photo project Eyes as big as plates by the Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth characterized by a search for modern human’s belonging to nature presenting elderly people in landscapes dressed in natural elements from the surroundings.
The difference in the intensity of the colors (high versus low chroma intensity) illustrates, that even both groups use nature in a decorative manner, their color schemes are different. The vegetation of course influences the color scheme, but the way we see and use nature in different cultures also plays a role.