15 Extraordinary Mass Human Formations


1Arthur Mole’s Living Formations

Almost a century ago and without the aid of any pixel-generating computer software, the itinerant photographer Arthur Mole (1889-1983) used his 11 x 14-inch view camera to stage a series of extraordinary mass human photographic spectacles that choreographed living bodies into symbolic formations of religious and national community. In these mass ornaments, thousands of military troops and other groups were arranged artfully to form American patriotic symbols, emblems, and military insignia visible from a bird’s eye perspective. During World War I, these military formations came to serve as rallying points to support American involvement in the war and to ward off isolationist tendencies.







2Eugene Goldbeck’s Photographs

Another of the most notable photographers of living people groups was Eugene Omar Goldbeck. Along with the large scale work, he also took photographic portraits of important personalities, such as Albert Einstein.


3John Quigley’s Aerial Messages

Artist John Quigley is internationally renowned for his environmental messages and images spelt out by human bodies and photographed from the air.



4Canopy Formation World Record

On July 2008, three Kennedy Space Center engineers helped set two new world records in the parachuting sport of “canopy formation”,with 81- and 85-person formation dives that took place over Lake Wales, Fla.

5And some more…


Grenzhausen, Germany – 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, 1919


209th Engineers, Camp Sheridan, Alabama, 1919


Spencer Tunick‘s nude group photography


A Human MIG

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