“Machines of the Present Consume the Imaginations of the Past” (Moving Images) 2020

“Machines of the present consume the imaginations of the past” is a series of prints and moving images generated by machine interpretations of the canon of Western painting. These still and moving images emerge from interactions between machine imagination and the underlying statistical properties of the training data. Appropriated paintings are deconstructed pixel by pixel where the similarity of colour values determine emergent compositions. Paintings are selected to form a historical arc from the emphasis on realism during the Northern European renaissance, to the surrealist and cubist problematizations of realism that manifest the tension between realism and abstraction. Moving images show the subjective decompositional process from the original to an emergent abstract form.

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“Watching (Blade Runner; 2001: A Space Odyssey; TRON)” 2018

Photo credit: Surrey Art Gallery and SITE Photography.

As part of the “Watching and Dreaming” exhibition at the Surrey Art Gallery TechLabWatching (Blade Runner)” (2016), “Watching (2001: A Space Odyssey)” (2018), and “Watching (TRON)” (2018) where installed in the same space and running in parallel. (more…)


“Watching (TRON)” 2018

The third in the series of “Watchers” following “Watching (Blade Runner)” (2016) and “Watching (2001: A Space Odyssey)” (2018). For this work, the approach was the same as used in the 2001: A Space Odyssey version. (more…)


“Watching (2001: A Space Odyssey)” 2018

“Watching (2001: A Space Odyssey)” is a revisit of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” using the same generative methods from “Watching (Blade Runner)” (2016). In this case of this work, the visual vocabulary is 50,000 percepts and the audio was generated with a finer granularity compared to the “Blade Runner” version. (more…)


“Through the haze of a machine’s mind we may glimpse our collective imaginations (Blade Runner)” 2017

Promo Package (PDF)

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“Through the haze of a machine’s mind we may glimpse our collective imaginations (Blade Runner)” is the result of a machine subject reorganizing the pixels and audio samples from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner according to colour and spectral similarity. This destroys the composition of the original, but preserves underlying statistical properties. The resulting images are softly undulating colour fields while the sounds flow between constant drone and glitch complexity due to the process of self-organization. The structure of the work is an emergent result of the interaction between the machine’s subjectivity and the underlying structure of Blade Runner. The incremental evolution of each scene’s sound-scape and colour field are realizations of the machine’s learning process, enabled by a self-organizing machine learning algorithm. The slow ambient movement of the sound and image is punctuated by drastic changes occurring in the image and sound corresponding to the cuts between scenes in the original. (more…)


“Watching (Blade Runner)” 2016

Promo Package (PDF)

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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? (more…)


“Watching and Dreaming (2001: A Space Odyssey) (version 1)” 2014

Installation Video (350MB) | Detail Video (43MB) | Promo Package (PDF)

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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)

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