Friday Lecture: Geoff Cox - Machine Seeing and Invisual Literacy
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Peter Bøgh Auditoriet, Finlandsgade 21, 8200 Aarhus
The presentation takes its point of departure in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing to explore how visual literacy needs to respond to the challenges of computer vision. When the majority of images are made by machines for other machines, and distributed across planetary networks, and part of vast annotated datasets, how are worldviews reinforced differently, and what kind of literacy applies, if at all? To clarify what is meant by literacy, the talk refers to its roots in cultural studies, and to expanded notions such as coding literacy. But what about computer vision, and its particular way of seeing the world, and how to gain access to its underlying structures and effects? Looking at source code to understand how a machine sees is not particularly revealing in itself. It is not simply a case of how humans see the world anymore, or how they use machines to see (as in the case of photography), but how machines see and produce the world in their own terms. New forms of literacy are required to understand how forms of privilege are reproduced and naturalised through new ways of seeing.
Geoff Cox is Professor/co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University, UK, and adjunct at Aarhus University. He has a research interest in software studies and contemporary aesthetics, expressed in numerous publications, including Aesthetic Programming (Open Humanities Press 2020) with Winnie Soon, and the forthcoming multi-authored book Live Coding (for MIT Press 2023), with Alan Blackwell, Emma Cocker, Alex McLean and Thor Magnusson.