“Watching (Blade Runner)” 2016

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I think of subjectivity and reality as mutually constructive. Cognitive mechanisms impose structure on reality in the form of imaginary categories that inform prediction and recognition. 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 piece is situated in a larger body of work collectively titled “Watching and Dreaming”. Initiated in 2014, this series of works are the result of statistically oriented machine learning and computer vision algorithms attempting to understand popular cinematic depictions of Artificial Intelligence by breaking apart and reconstructing them. The machines’ understanding is manifest in their ability to recognize, and eventually predict, the structure of the films they watch. The images produced are the result of both the system’s projection of imaginary structure, and the structure of the films themselves.

What is watching? What are the mechanisms that allow recognize patterns and regularity in the noise and complexity of observable reality? How do we integrate the continuous flow of information into a cohesive world-view? These are some of the questions at the centre of this artistic enquiry.

Installation Views

Installed in the Marshall McLuhan Salon for Transmediale 2017

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Installation views photographed by Luca Girardini, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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Video Excerpt