Wednesday, January 21, 2015


                                                                                                                        The Human Race Machine

                     Nancy Burson, an American artist and photographer born in 1948, creates works of art that serve as commentary on the era of digital manipulation in photography. Many of her works are seen in public, like The Human Race Machine (2003) and Focus on Peace (2002). Burson was one of the first artists to use 'morphing': the transition of one image into another by way of digital animation. There is a sort of underlying connected-ness that humanity shares and the creation of these interactive pieces drives this point home.

              During the late nineties, Burson completed a series of polaroids titled He/She (1997-98) featuring dramatic portraits of individuals that seem to float between gender identities (he and she). This series of polaroids captures my attention and leaves a bit of mysterious ambiguity to the story of these individuals. I hope that Burson continues to create these kinds of works and hopefully there will be some that show the full figure but still feature those awesome cast shadows!!


Nancy Burson's works have had such a profound impact on the way society views photographs. Photography has always been viewed  as a representation of "reality", but really what you see is what you believe. Burson's works have been viewed on large billboards, in universities and museums alike. I hope to see more morphing images that go beyond the study of interaction between humans and into the study of humans interacting with the environment. 

Videos: Nancy Burson at ClampArt Gallery

Image Sources
                                                  He/ She Image

Text Citations: Christane Paul PDF on Blackboard SMCM 

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