(2017) Axon Associates’ Portraits by Dante Lentz is a work that aims to create a portrait of power. “Temporal compression, as it is technically called, is an event that concretely modifies everyone’s daily life at the same time. In the face of this acceleration of daily life, fear has become an environment, even in a time of peace.” – Paul Virillio
“Accelerate: to cause faster or greater activity, development, progress, advancement, etc.” – Axon
For my newest piece I amass portraits of employees, board members and the CEO of for-profit company Axon (fka Taser Int.). The company is gearing-up to create a nationwide network of police body cameras and software that identify people and their surroundings autonomously and store that information. In my performance the people of Axon have their faces projected on the painting surface while I paint their portraits until my facial recognition software identifies them. The music samples that are triggered increase the tension and speed with every moment passing, once a face is found the process repeats with a new associate. Axon is mistaking speed with progress and hoping that existing problems will be solved by acceleration.
Dante Lentz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He recently completed the Max/MSP/Jitter Certificate Program at Harvestworks.