meniscus / about

Elective Physiognomies
installation and web based work 1995-96

Elective Physiognomies consists of four components. A front and profile self portrait of the artist were digitally manipulated using morphing software to produce different physiognomical permutations.

documentation: Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide 1995




1. Composite of 16 profiles The grid operates as an organising device "suggesting an air of universal legibility through the evenness of its vertical and horizontal progression" "Body Criticism", B M Stafford 1994.


2. Five portraits. Accompanying each image is a short character reading adapted from "Essays on Physiognomy", J C Lavater 1772, for example:

"The most unpractised eye will easily discover traits of industry, integrity and genuine piety. Such enviable certainty. One who is little concerned to conceal his faults, still less anxious to make his merits known"


3. Five genome maps. These consist of random sequences of the letters A, C, G and T which make up the DNA alphabet. Each image has a character reading, for example:

"We may without injustice conclude that, though of the benevolent kind there is native dullness. It would excite universal surprise should one possessing such features pronounce accurate decisions or produce a work of genius"




4. Web based interactive. The user is asked to position a series of faces on a number of binary scales for example: most trustworthy / least trustworthy , most intelligent / least intelligent. The software performs statistical analysis to determine the consistency of the responses.


meniscus / about