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Laís Pontes – Born Nowhere project
Laís Pontes is a Brazilian conceptual photographer. She gained international recognition through her project “Born Nowhere” which founded the concept of creating characters using crowd-sourcing through social media.
Laís was born in Fortaleza, Ceará in 1981. She currently lives in New York City and is a graduate of the International Center of Photography. She has also lived in Scotland, England, France, and Spain.
Laís has been exhibiting her work worldwide. In 2011, the project Born Nowhere was selected to Paraty em Foco 7th International Photo Festival, the biggest photography event in Brazil. That same year it received the Juror’s Prize from Barbara DeGenevieve at Filter Photo Festival 2011 in Chicago.
Laís Pontes is known for her project Born Nowhere. The project is a series of self-portraits where the artist uses digital techniques to transform facial characteristics in order to create digital “people” with new personalities. With no further information provided, the images are posted on Facebook and viewers are asked to provide their interpretation, thereby creating a unique persona with its own name and characteristics. The resulting description of each new character in “Born Nowhere” is influenced by what psychoanalysts call “projection”, that is, the viewer’s background, reality and fantasies.
The project uses Social Media as a tool of interaction and represents the final stage of the artistic creation process. Crowd-sourced social media input captures how the change of a person’s facial features, expression or physiognomy, can affect the observer’s interpretation of someone. The idea to develop this artistic concept through social media evolved from Lais’ experiences in New York, and represents the culmination of her work at International Center of Photography.