Photomaton is an innovative and unique interactive installation that combines state-of-the-art technologies from the fields of artificial intelligence and computational creativity to produce, in real time and automatically, ‘typographic portraits’ of exhibition visitors. The project was developed specifically for the permanent exhibition Literary Tower, taking into account its space, nature and target audience.
The installation was born out of the collaboration between the Centre for Computing and Systems of the University of Coimbra (CISUC) and the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN), as a response to the challenge posed by the Cupertino Miranda Foundation.
By using computational vision algorithms and non-deterministic generative techniques, Photomaton creates portraits of visitors, using only typographic elements, more specifically letters. Thus, each visitor to the Literary Tower can create his or her own portrait and combine it with one of the texts of the various authors of his or her choice.
During the production of each portrait, thousands of letters are precisely positioned to create recognisable representations of the visitors’ faces. However, this process is not deterministic, which makes each portrait unique and unrepeatable.
Thus, Photomaton demonstrates how computational creativity can enrich the museum experience, making it more interactive and participatory.