Jean-Philippe Côté: Yöti, The Algortihmic Portrait Artist

  • ©, Jean-Philippe Côté, Yöti, The Algortihmic Portrait Artist


    Yöti, The Algortihmic Portrait Artist





    Computer, webcam, plotters, silver pens, black paper, plastic tubing and lighting


    160x210x110 cm

Artist Statement:

    Yöti is an automated portrait artist that uses salvaged 1980s pen plotters to draw, the likeness of participants using algorithmically-generated squiggly lines, on actual paper. From up close, the portraits look like an abstract collection of linear markings. However, from a distance, the lines clearly reveal Yöti’s interpretation of the visitor’s visage.                                                            Yöti can be thought of as a deconstructed photobooth. Just like the good old analog photobooths, Yöti takes a few minutes to draw a portrait. During this time, visitors can witness their face slowly being drawn on paper by the plotters.
    The installation invites the visitor to reconsider its relation to anticipation and immediateness. This feels particularly relevant in these times of instant gratification through selfies, SnapChat and Instagram. By purposefully using “outdated” technologies, the installation also questions our relation to obsolescence, ephemerality and permanence.                                                Furthermore, it also takes interest in our rapport to the physical world. All participants leave with a physical object: a piece of paper bearing their portrait. Virtual, artificial and augmented realities are all fine but sometimes it just feels good to hold on to an actual, tangible object.