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The Dennos Museum Center

Elastic Surgery

Elastic Surgery is an artwork by Ed Tannenbaum that allows you to perform subtle or gross distortions to your own face. While some of the changes may be possible by conventional plastic surgery, most could only be achieved by these electronic means, unless one's head were made of clay. This work also demonstrates the technique of "warping" with a computer, a special effect used in many commercials and movies. Elastic Surgery graphically demonstrates the brain's ability to recognize faces and note differences between them. We all wonder how we might look if our features were altered, and this work can answer some questions. One warp will stretch the ears out. Another may squash one's head and extend the chin in an impossible way. It seems that no matter how extreme the distortion, your identity is never completely lost.