A Dutch company recently created a new painting by Rembrandt. The fact that he has been dead for hundreds of years was not a problem. They scanned his paintings ,selecting details from each picture they looked at. The final database was huge. Then they created a multi layered picture that had depth and texture as well as light and shade – and it looks faultless- you can see the video here:
I was fascinated by the whole process. This man never lived….but he looks real, alive. Is this a work of art ? Or a workout for Big Data ? This is the poem which came out of it all.
The Next Rembrandt
A tradesman shopkeeper perhaps,
stylish in his Sunday best –
the ruff starched crisp and white,
A countenance so every-day,
so commonplace, and yet a palimpsest
of all the people he has ever been
from boy to man.
Truth lies in that face.
He is a phantasm, a chimaera,
a million data points distilled,
a clever magic trick.
Or maybe there’s a ghost in the machine,
a bug which emulates the human soul,
An Instant Message flashed up on the screen,
A spark of hope which makes the broken whole.