Watch Millions of Years of Human Evolution Unfold on This Artist's Face

Emma Allen spent hours in front of the mirror putting together this stop motion self portrait.

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20 March 2017, 3:00am

The entire history of human evolution unfolds across the face of London-based body artist Emma Allen in her latest stop motion self-portrait video. In a little under a minute and a half, Santiago illustrates the gradual metamorphosis of life from a single-celled organism to the homo sapiens we are today. But Allen doesn't stop there. Once the animation reaches modern day humans, Allen starts to explore a digitized future as a stream of neon blue numbers begin to run down her cheeks. Her face ultimately becomes enveloped in a Tron-like grid that grows into an abstract circuit board at the center of her forehead. In the video's description Allen asks, "As our evolution turns from biological to technological, are we now the bridge between the born and the made?"

The animation consists of 1250 photographs shot over a period of 12 days. The artist spent hours in front of the mirror transforming her face with every new movement before stepping in front of a black backdrop. The film gets its name from a Reddit user named Justin Santiago, who brought up human evolution in response to one of Allen's previous films, Ruby, a similar face paint animation that asks what explores themes of rebirth and the afterlife. Santiago's interpretation of the film inspired Allen to make a new one illustrating all the stages of human life in her own unique style.

Check out the full video below:

Check out more works by Emma Allen on her website.

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