Des Objets Reconnus

Des Objets Reconnus is part of The Transcode Series, a new collection of artworks by Jono Brandel.

Transcoding is a technological phenomenon which can be used to connect different cultural subjects. This case is explored in Lost Treasures Found where Latin and Emojis become an unlikely match. On the other hand, artists like René Magritte, John Baldessari, and Jean-Michel Alberola connect subjects via visual juxtaposition. Through juxtaposition, Magritte compares clouds to boulders. Baldessari examines type’s relationship to color. And, Alberola superimposes fragments of figure and lyric to make whole forms. Through juxtaposition, these artists are able to reframe, question, and better understand their subject matter. Des Objets Reconnus takes this spirit of juxtaposition and combines it with the power of transcoding.

On the right side, hundreds of famous oil paintings cycle in and out. On the left are keywords perceived by an object recognition algorithm used by many of the top technology corporations in the world. As the keywords change, the computer distorts the oil painting to reveal the part of the painting that triggers hidden metadata. The methodical pace runs at one half of one percent the speed the computer takes to recognize objects in an image. This expanded view frames the computational process in terms conducive to human perception. In addition, the wispy motion of the paintings is directly tied to how uncertain the algorithm is. Lastly, a sonic layer matches predominant colors present in the painting to underscore the pace. Des Objets Reconnus transcodes oil paintings through object recognition in order to juxtapose representation and meaning. In this way, des Objets Reconnus questions our personal relationships with paintings to better understand this pervasive algorithm.

All artist proceeds from The Transcode Series will be donated to Gray Area, the San Francisco project space where the works were originally intended to be shown prior to COVID-19. A talk by the artist is presented on Patch by Gray Area alongside the launch on 2 July 2020.

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