Descriptive Text for Open Studio tomorrow

Posted: February 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Ben Bogart

b. 1978. Lives in Vancouver, BC

Watching (Blade Runner)
(Work in Progress), 2016

Single Channel High Definition Video

An image is a reference to some aspect of the world which contains within its own structure and in terms of its own structure a reference to the act of cognition which generated it. It must say, not that the world is like this, but that it was recognized to have been like this by the image-maker, who leaves behind this record: not of the world, but of the act.

(Harold Cohen, What is an image? 1979)

I think of subjectivity and reality as mutually constructive. Cognitive mechanisms impose structure on reality in the form of imaginary categories that inform predictions and inferences. At the same time, the complexity of reality constantly challenges understanding. Cognition determines the most essential and salient properties of reality, but those properties are context dependent. Is the quintessential an objectively observable property of reality or a projection of imagination?

This series of works show the result of statistically oriented machine learning and computer vision algorithms attempting to understand popular cinematic depictions of Artificial Intelligence. The machine’s understanding is manifest in its ability to recognize, and eventually predict, the structure of the films it watches. The images produced are the result of both the system’s projection of imaginary structure, and the structure of the films themselves.