Self-Organized Landscapes are print collages composed of thousands of close-up photos that are taken with a camera that pans and tilts to examine the visual context surrounding a particular site. These landscapes present a fractured and multifaceted alien perspective of a particular place in space and time. While they are computer generated, they involve the combination of such a large number of individual images that their complexity and detail cannot be adequately represented on digital displays. At the macro scale, the collages appear organic and lack hard edges and traditional compositional conventions. Upon closer inspection, one may notice that the colour fields that define the macro structure are composed of small components arranged in a grid. Each of these components is an individual close-up photograph of the depicted location, captured from the same point, differing only in field of view. In order to emphasize the content of the images over their lattice structure, each is framed with a soft mask that allows it to blend in with its neighbouring images.
The particular position of each photo is determined by a Self-Organizing Map (SOM), an Artificial Neural Network that organizes complex data according to it’s global structure. The SOM, as applied in the Self- Organized Landscapes, takes a set of input images and arranges those images in a 2D grid such that similar images are located in nearby cells. During training, collections of images advance in the grid and appear like advancing territories; the size of each region is proportional to the number of images in each group. The SOM is a visualization of the structural relations between the images fed to it. In the case of the Self-Organized Landscapes, the colour histograms of the constituent images determine their position in the grid. The resulting macro composition is an emergent result of the relations between the individual photos that constitute it.
International Symposium on Electronic Art (2014), Dubai.
Where do we stop and they begin?
Audain Gallery Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (2012), Vancouver
Computational Photography at Muu Gallery
PixelACHE Festival (2011), Helsinki
Hong Kong Exhibition (2009)
Shooting Landscapes for the Vancouver Series, which was exhibited in Hong Kong.
2014, “Self-Organized Landscapes #32 & #12”, Cuadro Gallery, International Symposium on Electronic Art 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
2012, “Self-Organized Landscapes #11 & #25”, Audain Gallery Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Where do we stop and they begin?, Vancouver.
2011, “Self-Organized Landscapes #11, #18 & #23”, MUU Gallery, Return of the Unexpected — Computational Photography, PixelACHE Festival, Helsinki, Finland.
2009, “Self-Organized Landscapes”, Innocentre, Hong Kong, China