Not Human, 2013
image sequence in HD video
My recent slideshow pieces deal with errors in recognition by the digital mind. Not Human does this by displaying the computer’s failure to distinguish between an inanimate face and one of an actual human being. The piece presents only images of other images showing faces rather than images of actual people before the camera. As the 1600 images were filtered out of the body of the archive, positioned and cropped automatically by the computer, I was surprised by the result. Insofar as the world is represented in my archive of ~120,000 photographs from the last ten years, Colonel Sanders has the most represented face in our culture, with Beyoncé not far behind. The majority of the pictures are of faces that are placed in public by the commercial desires of industry and as such they are often insincere in appearance and expression. The fact that the computer fails so consistently may alternately have galling or entertaining implications, but the perceptiveness of the algorithmic determination of humanity from an image source is certain to improve.