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07242000 texts


Albert Fish, 1899
Son of a famous German physicist 

From Digital Mutations


Digital Mutations
A Website by Claudia Probst & Michael Shpaizman

... cruel and beautiful life of simulated relatives

The subtitle sets the stage for this intriguing webbased work by Claudia Probst and Michael Shpaizman: Digital Mutations presents you with a somewhat bizarre collection of 16 virtual relatives that await your visit in the neatly organized "cabinet" section of the site.

Your new and virtual "relatives" are mostly Photoshop constructions assembled from what appear to be early 20th century family portraits  and a good dose of digital imaging filters.  The result is an amazing  multi-media collision of images fleetingly reminiscent of Diane Arbus or your grandmother's family album. 

Oscillating between possibility and obvious forgery, the images "invites us to question the truth of human identity," as the artists point out in their introduction to the work, and the issue of personal identity and history is certainly part of the subtext of this work. 

The work's strength, however, seems to arise primarily from the sophisticated assemblage of stylistically diverse modes of representation.  Probst and Shpaizman's images display a constant shift between the familiar poses typical of family portraits taken in the early 1900's, psychedelic flourescence of the 1960's, and fractal surface textures of the 1990's. 

An entertaining and visually pleasing site, Digital Mutations is definitely worth a visit.

The site is located at:

san francisco, august 2000 



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