Machine visions and eyeless sight - On Art, Photography and Artificial Intelligence (2019-2020)

Project Details


This pilot project explores the ways in which contemporary artists are responding to the emergence and rapid development of machine vision and computational photography.

From the tracking of consumer behaviour in shops and the navigation of driverless cars to the identification of targets for drone strikes, our society is increasingly impacted by “machine vision”. These photographic technologies use Artificial Intelligence to produce algorithmically-operationalised images that automate numerous tasks, processes, and functions previously undertaken or overseen by humans and they do so largely according to hegemonic power structures.

A central political challenge thus becomes how to regulate these life-shaping, automated, ‘black box’ processes. How can eyeless sight be (over)seen? Is human vision adequate to this task or itself compromised by a problematic anthropocentrism? Might nonhuman vision be affirmed? What role can and should art play in relation to this new conjuncture?

Publications and other outputs
Public talk
: Trevor Paglen, “Machine Visions” (Whitworth Gallery). 19 April 2019
Symposium: “Machine Visions and Eyeless Sight; On Art, Photography and Artificial Intelligence” (Whitworth Gallery Study Centre), 24 April 2019
This symposium, inspired in part by Paglen’s recent machine vision work, brought together a number of leading thinkers and artists to explore AI-driven machine vision.
Speakers: Professor Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmith’s), Dr Ben Burbridge (Sussex), Dr Luke Skrebowski (Manchester), Nicolas Malevé (LSBU)
StatusNot started


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