In his series Portraitgraphs, Manuel Velasquez (Honduras) combines two features that are commonly used to distinguish one human from another: face and voice. Inspired by the algorithms used in facial recognition systems, Velasquez created a data-driven manipulation of his portraits, with the goal of proposing a new conceptual visual means of identification. He explains: “In order to achieve this new biometrical identity, pixels from a portrait are morphed using as a baseline pattern a plot of time, frequency and intensity of a waveform obtained by recording each person’s voice.”
The resulting images leave their subjects unidentifiable by traditional means: we wouldn’t recognise them while walking down the street. Yet, the images offer us, from a data standpoint, arguably more information than a traditional portrait, by combining a multi-sensory interpretation. As geometric shapes overlap one another to create an almost futurist aesthetic, the portraits seem to shake like real sound waves.