Shot in Berlin’s historic Funkhaus, Image Operations. Op.10 is a video installation that highlights emerging forms of computer vision and machine learning. A string quartet performs Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10. As the video evolves, the perspective of the view slowly changes from that of a camera, to that of an array of computer vision systems “interpreting” what the camera is seeing. At first, we see the video through simple face detection software. As the video evolves, we begin to see the performers through the machinic eyes of algorithms used in self-driving cars, guided missiles, drones, and powerful artificial intelligence algorithms designed to estimate age, gender, and the emotional states of the performers. In sum, we watch a music performance, and simultaneously watch a version of the performance as seen by computer vision algorithms.
Image Operations. Op.10 demonstrates the use of many forms of automated vision systems, shows the “styles” of seeing that various computer vision systems employ, and ultimately makes the point that these technologies are far from “neutral” and are on the contrary guided by ethical and political scripts that form their ways of seeing.