Video Portraits Of Beltway Power Brokers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Video Portraits Of Beltway Power Brokers

Video artist Lincoln Schatz is known for his dynamic, video-based portraits. His latest work captures Washington power brokers, including Sandra Day O'Connor, Karl Rove and Cokie Roberts, as they discuss their legacies and aspirations. Using special software, these "generative portraits" shift and re-combine, creating continuously evolving representations. We talk with Schatz about his work and the technology that drives it.

Lincoln Schatz: Behind 'The Network,' A Video Portrait Of Beltway Power Brokers

Artist Lincoln Schatz talks about the methodology and memorable moments behind "The Network," an innovative collection of video interviews currently on display at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Schatz recalls the variety of conversations captured on screen, many with common themes of honor, family and public service. For example, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor chose to focus her interview on a surprising topic--her wedding. In another interview, Republican strategist Karl Rove and White House press secretary Jay Carney each chose to discuss their experiences on Sept. 11.

"What came out of a lot of the interviews was this humbleness, this intelligence, these ideas of duty, service and honor, which outside the Beltway are really the fodder for irony, but inside the Beltway are really kind of the core tenets of what motivates and drives a lot of the people in the project to do what they do," says Schatz.

The installation captures 89 Washington power brokers, including notable figures such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Eric Cantor. Software constantly recombines pieces of portraits, so viewers rarely see the same part twice. The portrait runs without identifying speakers, which is intended to draw viewers to their words and facial expressions without preconceived bias.

NPR

Jon Krakauer Tells A 'Depressingly Typical' Story Of College Town Rapes

Krakauer's Missoula looks at stories of women who have been sexually assaulted by people they know. He says rape is unlike other crimes because in other crimes, "the victim isn't assumed to be lying."
NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.
NPR

When Politicians Lose Their Accents

Some say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Midwestern accent has become less pronounced. Georgetown professor Deborah Tannen says politicians' voices often change, depending on their audience.
NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.