Decision Space by Berlin-based artist @sebastianschmieg takes a closer look at how machine vision datasets are created: developed on the website of The Photographers’ Gallery, the new commission invites visitors to assign all the images available on the website to one of four categories: Future, Past, Problem and Solution.
Through the assignment process visitors are teaching the system how to read and understand images within this existing set of parameters. In a seconds step, after feeding all images and classifications into a machine learning system, Schmieg will synthesise a series of new images that is based on the accumulated labour of all visitors and photographers involved. Each new image will represent abstract visions of Future, Past, Problem and Solution to varying degrees, drawing on the colours, shapes, and concepts of the original visuals found on the website.
Through this work Schmieg raises questions around current discussions concerning photography, big-data, tracking, and the hidden manual labour behind algorithmic systems.