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On View

Ahree Lee

Permutation

A computer algorithm dynamically remixes still portrait photos into an ever-changing, fragmentary video portrait.

Ahree Lee. Permutation, 2015. Video still.

In this generative video installation, I explore the paradox of similarity and difference. A computer algorithm dynamically remixes still portrait photos into an ever-changing, fragmentary video portrait. The algorithm takes 5-6 photos at random and simultaneously displays a vertical section of each that moves across the screen to generate an image that is constantly evolving and never the same.

The slices of individual photos that make up each composite function like the snippets of genetic code that are spliced together from two parents and generations of ancestors to create the DNA of each individual person. They can also be seen as a metaphor for the thousands of snippets of DNA that each person likely has in common with people around the world. Like the permutations of DNA that result in infinite variations in human beings, the permutations generated by the algorithm are infinite.

Music by Nathan Melsted.


About the Artist

Ahree Lee is a multi-media artist working in video, photography, sound and interactive installations. Her commissions include the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the 01SJ Biennial, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and the Sundance Channel. Her Webby-nominated video Me was shown by Steve Jobs as a demo for YouTube on Apple TV, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the Moving Image. Lee’s honors include a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award nomination and an artistic career development grant from Asian American Renaissance funded by the Jerome Foundation.