DAVID DATUNA CREATES A NEW VISUAL LANGUAGE WITH HIS
GROUNDBREAKING VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS SERIES: PORTRAIT OF AMERICA
'Viewpoint of Billions,' is a groundbreaking interactive, social experience that utilizes wearable technology with Google Glass. One of the most important aspects that was paramount to the project was not letting technology get in the way of the art–the technology is meant to work as a high-tech tool of engagement. 'Portrait of America,' the seminal work of David Datuna’s “Viewpoint of Billions” series, is a 12-foot multi-media flag that is the first public installation and artwork in the world to utilize Google Glass. The vision of an artist whose story is akin to the American dream, 'Portrait of America' chronicles the journey of a diverse and great nation through a new visual language.
"It's not about technology, it is about engagement. As artists we have to look at new and creative ways to engage a 21st Century audience, Google Glass is merely a tool to assist with expanding my narrative. I predict new tools like Glass and wearable technology will become part of a growing list of innovative tools for the art world in general to explore, in a variety of ways. I'm not a technology artist, this is traditional work I have been creating for over a decade. My concept behind including Glass is clear, how do I reach the most diverse and widest possible audience on a large scale to communicate my messages? We are at such an exciting time in our society in a world filled with innovation and access to information. What we all do with this information and innovation will ultimately shape our future in positive or negative ways. The Viewpoint of Billions series explores our past, present and challenges us to create an exciting and rewarding future." David Datuna, Artist
The monumental flag, the first of 10 works in the "Viewpoint of Billions" series, is covered in Datuna's signature style with hundreds of eyeglass lenses. Creating an experiential dialogue through a sculptural veil of optics, the artist uses different magnifications to draw the viewer to the thematic collage inside his work. The prismatic effects invite inspection, while offering a vehicle for observation, and expanding the definition of modern portraiture.
The work is a fascinating exploration of the American spirit and of individuals whose contributions have helped form, guide and define the United States as a culture and a nation. Many of the embedded images include such disparate historical and contemporary figures as George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., even Lady Gaga. Each resonates, in different ways, with a multi-cultural American audience. Poignant moments revealed within the flag recall generations of innovators who often dared to be different—figures like Vint Cerf, Nicholas Tesla, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and dozens more.
In a dramatic visual expansion of his conceptual work, Google Glass provides a seamless way for the artist to extend his vision to the viewer through instant access to information and advanced sharing capabilities. Using this Twenty-First Century tool, Datuna's visual language is fused with fragments of collective experience that define much of what is distinct in American culture. The themes provide not opinion, but a roadmap to identity and history, encouraging people to thoughtfully consider, ponder and respect individual viewpoints. The unique technological capabilities of Glass will add another dimension to the traditional pieces the artist has been creating for nearly a decade.
"It's not just about technology, it's about the thoughtful and deliberate ways that artists can broaden our horizons. When you give a visionary like David Datuna new tools and put a device like Google Glass in the hands of the public - amazing things happen,” said Nik Apostolides, National Portrait Gallery. “That's what a museum like ours is all about: new and creative forms of expression that connect history, biography, and art. Throughout the years, new Americans who come to our shores seeking values like justice and freedom of expression can give us a fresh appreciation of everything that is unique and important about our nation. David is a true pioneer."
"This was the one of the largest audiences I can remember turning out for a specific artist installation at the National Portrait Gallery in over 30 years" said Amy Henderson, Cultural Historian at the National Portrait Gallery after the exhbition at the Smithsonian in Feburary 2014.
'Portrait of America' will embark on a journey across the United States through 2014. During the installations, the public will be invited to view the artwork with or without Google Glass, and enjoy the immersive experience it offers. Datuna's American flag through its hundreds of optical lenses, will communicate directly with its audience, prompting questions and taking photos through the viewfinder of Glass. For those who opt in, the total experience is recorded though the built-in camera in Glass, and cameras imbedded in the artwork. Images in the artwork, along with your own voice, will trigger videos and interactive experiences that can be seen through the viewfinder of Glass. Guests will have their portraits taken wearing Glass, and the see-you see-me outcomes will be archived by the art and sent out via social media to share with the world. The artwork evolves with each interaction, creating a timeline to share with future generations comparing points of view. Visitors will be able to go to datuna.com to see their digital collage of videos and portraits become a permanent part of the artworks traditional paint and paper collage.
We hope you get a chance to experience Viewpoint of Billions with 'Portrait of America.'
"Wearables are about to change just about every aspect of life in the near-term future and Glass is the flagship product. David Datuna has been exploring how the technologies of today will take art beyond where it has been. He is the ideal artist-pioneer to incorporate Glass into authentic, inspirational and perhaps controversial works of art," stated Shel Israel, Co-Author with Robert Scoble of The Age of Context.
VIDEO FROM VIEWPOINT OF BILLIONS SEE-YOU-SEE-ME OUTCOME: http://youtu.be/7s8cKbo3tlc
DAVID DATUNA, CHANGING THE WAY WE LOOK AT ART: