Search by Image
Search by Image
Search by Image
Search by Image

"Search by Image" is a series of algorithmic and experimental videos analyzing Google's image search function of the same name. "Search by Image (Recursively, Transparent PNG, #1)" begins with an empty image. This image – a transparent PNG – served as the sarting point for an image search, whose result acted as the basis of yet another search. This recursive process was repeated 2951 times and then compiled into a video. While the video opens room for a lot of interpretation, what we actually get to see is a glimpse of Google's databases and secret algorithms. Other videos start with a photo of the artist himself, or with a search result for "earth". The experiments will be repeat over time.

About Sebastian Schmieg

Sebastian Schmieg examines the ways modern technologies shape online and offline realities, in artworks that range from interactive sculptures to video experimentations with generative algorithms. In Search by Image (2011), Schmieg plays with Google’s “search by image” function, beginning a search with a blank image or an image of his own face, then using the resulting image as the basis for another search, producing an algorithmic chain of some thousands of images that he then compiles into videos, constituting a sort of visual narrative. “When starting with my experiments,” Schmieg has said of this piece, “my intention was to playfully examine, misuse, and critique this new thing, which I think is way more than just ‘a tool’.” In his interactive installation 81 Points of View (2011), Schmieg combined modern devices that create augmented realities with antiquated ones that create more basic optical illusions, drawing a line through centuries of experimentation with mediated reality.

German, b. 1983, based in Berlin, Germany

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