Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Author Archives: Nicolas Malevé

The ‘dawning’ of an aspect

“I contemplate a face, and then suddenly notice its likeness to another. I see that it has not changed; and yet I see it differently. I call this experience “noticing an aspect…” And I must distinguish between the ‘continuous seeing’ of an aspect and the ‘dawning’ of an aspect… I see two pictures, with the […]

Every annotation is an act of vandalism

Asger Jorn reading Sartre’s L’Imaginaire. Questioning Sartre’s floating use of the term intentionality regarding the photograph. The fragment describes ambiguously the photograph or its content (the characters it depicts) as an object without particular intentionality. Jorn sees intentionality potentially elsewhere: “Intentionality on whose part, the artist?”

A vision substitution system

Two illustrations of Bach y Rita’s vision substitution system, in 1969. “Four hundred solenoid stimulators are arranged in a twenty x twenty array built into a dental chair. The stimulators, spaced 12 mm apart, have 1 mm diameter “Teflon” tips which vibrate against the skin of the back (Fig. 1). Their on-off activity can be […]

Zero bandwidth video

MIT’s experiments in the 80’s to give voice synthesizers a face.

The cloudy days of machine learning

Once upon a time, the US Army wanted to use neural networks to automatically detect camouflaged enemy tanks. The researchers trained a neural net on 50 photos of camouflaged tanks in trees, and 50 photos of trees without tanks. Using standard techniques for supervised learning, the researchers trained the neural network to a weighting that […]

Convolutional Network, 1993

In 1988, Yann LeCun joined the Adaptive Systems Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, United States, headed by Lawrence D. Jackel, where he developed a number of new machine learning methods, such as a biologically inspired model of image recognition called Convolutional Neural Networks, the “Optimal Brain Damage” regularization methods, and […]

Oscilloscope party

“Tennis for Two was first introduced on October 18, 1958, at one of the Lab’s annual visitors’ days. Two people played the electronic tennis game with separate controllers that connected to an analog computer and used an oscilloscope for a screen. The game’s creator, William Higinbotham, was a nuclear physicist who lobbied for nuclear nonproliferation […]

Geoff Cox, from Speaking Code to algorithms

Geoff Cox discussing the ecology of algorithms at the occasion of the launch of the Cqrrelations website. “What would algorithms say if they could speak? We could say the same of data of course. If it was allowed to speak what would it say about itself? It probably wouldn’t say it is raw and unmediated. […]

Algorithms before computers

“The only way you could formulate a complete rule (in premodern sensibility): you had to foresee the exceptions, it is both specific and supple. The habit doesn’t simply enforce the rule, it embodies it, just like this spearbearer statue embodies the canon of male beauty. More than that the habit’s discretion is not supplementary to […]

The Variability of Vision

LATE IN 1967 a book was published in England which is as charming as it must be fascinating to all who are interested in the theory and practice of interpretation. Its principal author is the Dutch naturalist and ethologist Niko Tinbergen, who combined with a friend and artist to photograph the tracks left in the […]