Esquire‘s Portrait of the 21st Century is one element of the magazine’s 75th Anniversary celebration. Esquire‘s anniversary issue, to be published in September, will examine the century that is just beginning, in part by profiling the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. Esquire and Hearst commissioned the sculptor and new-media artist Lincoln Schatz to create a work that would unite many of these people in a single dynamic portrait.
From May through September, Schatz will create dozens of individual portraits in his Cube, a ten-foot-by-ten-foot translucent box fitted with 24 cameras that stream digital video to 24 computers. During each one-hour sitting, Cube subjects are encouraged to represent their personalities, interests, and values in whatever ways they choose. Then, using thousands of these video files, Schatz creates a portrait made up of a randomized, perpetually evolving progression of overlapping images. Moored in the moment but never quite the same thing twice, Schatz’s “generative” portraits have an infinite ability to reconfigure perception and reorder time.
As Schatz finishes each individual sitting, the installation will grow and change to accommodate the new arrivals. Esquire‘s Portrait of the 21st Century, a collective work combining all the individual portraits, will be completed just as the anniversary issue reaches newsstands.
– David Granger, Editor-in-Chief, Esquire