Visually Similar Images

Series on the google search tool that uses a mathematical algorithm to return as result a number of images considered “visually similar” to any initial image input. The results are photographic prints.

archival inkjet prints 56 x 100cm each

Visually Similar Images, 2012

 

This series questions the replacement of our individual perception by perception created by an algorithm, or “robot-like” perception, thus creating an exterior sense foreign to our own sensitivity. The search tool uses random image and provides, through a mathematical calculation (algorithm), a series of images with visual similarity, following its own concept. Our perception is filtered by a mathematician or machine-eye logic. An alien sensibility to our experience of the world; droid, automated and oblivious to our perception, projecting a new “reality“.

Process:

  • Metadata In an initial image, all text information embedded in it (metadata) such as file info, file name and caption is removed
  • Search The picture is inserted into the Google’s search engine Visually Similar Images
  • Comparative presentation The search results are them organized, re-grouped, edited and assembled. The final work displays the image that originated the search and all return in similarly pictures, said “Visually Similar” by Google’s search algorithm

 

Thus, Piero, 2013, a painting by Piero della Francesca is presented alongside images ranging from similar reproductions of the same, other works by the painter to street scenes, a vineyard and personnal Facebook photos.

In Hugo Chaves, 2012, former Venezuelan President is sided by bikers, flowers, a baseball game, faces tattooed and a kung-fu fighter.

 

Image credits: Yevgeny Khaldei, Egilda Gomez/Presidencia, Lawrence Beitler (Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith lynching)