COLLECTIO EX MACHINA
Generative, interactive video installation, 2012
A collection can be defined as the gathering, organizing and displaying of items – three verbs one could easily use to describe a computer’s modus operandi. “Collectio ex machina” was inspired by the parallels between the human impulse to collect and computational data collection. The subject of this screen-based artwork is the layered collection of an anthropomorphized computer. “Pixels” are the only entities the machine can display and are thus at the core of this endeavor: the algorithm retrieves an image titled “my collection” from flickr and divides it into 4×4 sequences of pixels. Each of theses 16-pixel arrays is used to generate a stack of 100 images (all containing this particular sequence). The collection is ongoing. The process is repeated over and over again. This absurd combination of arbitrary decisions and strict rules produces a mesmerizing, and dizzying, collection – an uncanny evocation of our own obsessions.