Plus Belle Haleine (2016)


2016 marks the centennial anniversary of Dadaism. I contributed to Dadaclub‘s initiative that celebrates the beginning of this conceptual art movement (Published online here) by revisiting the original artworks made in those era. I created “Plus Belle Haleine” based on Man Ray’s work “Belle Haleine”. (View Original)

With my limited French language knowledge, I decided that the woman in the branding of the original work was called “Haleine” and she could be more beautiful, hence Plus Belle Haleine. (Sometimes, it’s good to be ignorant so I can get lost.. Is that Duchamp in disguise?)

These days, beautifying or changing our external appearances is easily achievable with just a few clicks on a mobile app. I wonder what the dada/conceptual artists of 100 years ago would think about today’s technology and its implication on ready made.

For this work, I wanted to take on the ready made concept, so I mostly used freely available mobile apps and their effect. I was quite amazed how much I was able to get done on mobile apps only…!

Following is the list of software I used to create the work.
1. Photoshop (Mac) – Edited the original text to “Plus Belle Haleine”
2. Snow (Mobile app) – Added animated filters to her face. Haleine’s face was recognized via Snow app’s face recognition technology. I displayed an edited image from photoshop on a computer screen, then fixed my mobile phone (with a front facing camera) to detect the face. Since only one filter was applicable at a time, I filmed several times with a same angle.
3. Splice (Mobile app) – Composited multiple videos together, changed the overall color tone of the video and sped it up
4. Video Crop (Mobile app) – The original video taken via “Snow” app shows its logo on the bottom, so I used this app to crop the logo and other unwanted parts out.
5. (WebSite) – Created a logo-free gif file