"Search by image, recursively..." by Sebastian Schmieg
Schmieg’s Search by Image (2011–) is a series of experimental algorithmic videos that analyze Google’s image-search function. This work from the series begins with a blank image, a transparent portable network graphics (PNG) file. The algorithm then creates a process that is repeated 2,951 times and compiled into a short video that gives the viewer a glimpse into Google’s extensive visual database; it shows thousands of images in rapid succession over the course of four minutes. The collaging of images from around the globe generates a narrative of mass consumerism and reflects the ubiquitous presence of technology in off-line reality.