Robot gaze: what are the aesthetics of computer vision systems?

Timo's video "Robot readable world" is made up of stitched-together found footage from computer vision systems, "exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye." It was inspired by Matt Jones's essay The Robot-Readable World, and it reminds me Laura Mulvey's idea of the Male Gaze.

Robot readable world


  1. I hope a new gesture evolves, one easily parsed by any vision system, that will be an indicator that one is aware of the vision system and you want to initiate a transaction. It would serve as a “Hello” and handshake, that would allow a conversation (maybe only with gestures). J.Kirk used a voice command (“computer”), but it seems rude and less private to start talking while in line to use the ATM.

  2. It is interesting that most of the visual elements overlayed on the video that signify what the computer “sees” are not visual stimuli perceived by the computer systems, but rather artificial markers–derived from, but ultimately separate from, the computer’s internal interpretation of the of the visual information–added only for the benefit of humans. So the “aesthetics” of the robot gaze are not actually intrinsic to artificial vision, but are instead completely defined by human understanding of artificial vision.

  3. Wow, that’s downright beautiful!  It captures what so much serious art tries to capture, that sense of striving after something perfect, but grasping it only imperfectly.  Watching this has been my favorite aesthetic moment of 2012 so far, no kidding!

    BTW, I think the footage from about 3:50 to 4:04 is showing a heat map, not computer vision per se.

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