Monkey Logic
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas; Projection, Spray Paint on Foam Board
5' x 5', 5' x 5'
Created in collaboration with M.D-Ph.D. Carlos Ponce and PhD Candidate Binxu Wang of Ponce Neuroscience Lab.
Initially, I created an abstract painting that informed a community experiment. My painting process typically involves blocking colors over a black underlayer, eventually framing entities in my perception. Suspending this work at the initial step, I aimed to render a medium whose ambiguous look would foster rich visual interpretation.
My team coded a setup to generate rounds of images that are visual interpretations of my artwork. Presenting the setup to over thirty viewers, I prompted each to hover their mouse over the image (or images) that aligned most with their perceptions of painting sections. The look of each new round was impacted by the last based on what pictures viewers fixated on the longest.
Aside from human preferences, the image evolution was guided by an artificial neural network. It drew from a dataset with millions of representational stock images. As such, images evolving from this setup possessed more “realistic” elements, translating abstraction into visuals with uncanny, lifelike features. By involving audiences in this framework, I hoped to visualize some semblance of the fleeting associations emerging during the imaginative process.
Although compositional framing and technological curation play a strong role in defining the participants' choices, the resulting imagery joins an eternal quest to more intimately source creation from perception. The audience becomes the artist.