Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Author Archives: Nicolas Malevé

Building a social detector, Mass Observation

FOREWORD By Professor Julian Huxley Science in its progress is advancing nearer to the human heart of things, The first great advances in the scientific renaissance were made in the remoter and simpler fields of astronomy and physics. Then followed chemistry and a little later general biology and physiology. The great revolution in regard to […]

a close listening to the technical workings of computers and their networks

In Algorhythmics: Understanding Micro-Temporality in Computational Cultures, Shintaro Miyazaki discusses the importance of rhythm to understand the performances of algorithms. “According to Burton [chief engineer of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine-Resurrection-Project], the position of the so-called “noise probe” was variable, thus different sound sources could be heard and auscultated. These could be individual flip-flops in […]

The blue eyes of the argopecten irradians

Common Name: Bay Scallop, Scientific Name: Argopecten irradians, Specimen #: 27, Size: 2.5 inches acBay Scallop, Scientific Name: Argopecten irradianross (side to side), Notes: specimens ordered from Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories: (850) 984-5297,, collected near Panacea, Florida, Location: David Liittschwager’s Home Studio: 120 Parnassus Ave #1, San Francisco, CA, 94117 “The mantle of the […]

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 […]