Pattern of Activation (gardens of the galaxy)

Katja Novitskova

Patterns of Activation (gardens of the galaxy)(2001) is an assemblage of images from various datasets the artist indexed on a citizen science platform. The platform asked volunteers to index, draw on, and categorize images from various datasets, usually with the goal of training image-processing AI algorithms. The images Novitskova worked on mostly include wildlife cam photos, astronomy, snail embryos, and monkey blood cells. The overabundance of instrumental, machine-readable images may be thought to cheapen any meaning or aesthetic value, but Novitskova actively digs poetry out from the datasets. The poetry emerges in the combination of technology and the reality that it attempts to capture: glowing eyes of animals that reflect the flash-light of the camera, digital low-resolution artifacts, accidentally spectacular compositions of galaxies and forests, etc. The speed at which the GIFs are analysed is faster than normal human perception, but is functional to the machine gaze which itself creates a new type of poetic image.