This week is the last week witnessing will be on display at UBC’s Audain Arts Centre AVAH Gallery as part of Under Super Vision. Check out my digital work you.got.a.pic? until Saturday – or if you can’t physically make it, you can contact my artwork instead!
Send a selfie of yourself to email@example.com and the system will respond with a new image of what you look like to the computer, sometime in the near future. These images will then appear on a CRT monitor at the gallery in real time.
Users receive variations of “pixel sorted” images or “edge detection”, both elemental to the ways computers “see” today. By understanding the basic framework for computer vision through humanistic correspondence that forces users to wait, the system is able to add value to the interaction.
Virtual relationships, social media and selfies are central critiques ofyou.got.a.pic?. Unlike most new media, it does not attempt to improve on previous media and its technical efficiency. Instead, it actively gives participants time and distance to contemplate, forget and rediscover their conversation with technology. This system is at one level an electronic pen pal, and a creative companion on another. The process of emailing, waiting and deciphering visual content cloud the acceptable transparency of contemporary technologies. The artwork exemplifies the role of human subjectivity in the role of new media, and you.got.a.pic?takes the user on an alternate path of technology history, one in which social media is remediated by email, the “selfie” collides with machine vision, and letter writing rivals the ubiquitous internet.