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Nancy Burson
Mankind

1983-1985

Price Upon Request

About

(The images used are from a 19th-century book of racial stereotypes and were weighted to reflect current world population statistics) Gelatin silver print from computer-generated negative (Edition of 15) Signed, titled, dated, and numbered, recto 14 x 11 inches, sheet This artwork is offered by ClampArt, located in New York City. Since the inception of her career as an artist, Nancy Burson has been interested in the interaction of art and science. Starting in the early 1980s, in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Burson began to produce computer-generated composite protraits. The work was informed by centuries of social, scientific, and pseudo-scientific study of the human face (physiognomy, phrenology, etc.). However, Burson’s attitude toward science was always laced with a touch of irony, and her early composites exhibit a keen awareness of the absurdities embedded in many of the historic theories with which we are now familiar. From the start, Burson’s work was conceptually challenging, as she addressed issues not only concerning science, but also race, biology, politics, ethics, and much more.

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