Over the course of an hour, Zoom attendees had the opportunity to hear about four investigative projects featured in Curatorial A(i)gents: Second Look: Gender and Sentiment on Show, Watching Machines Loving Grace, A Flitting Atlas of the Human Gaze, and Processing the Page: Computer Vision and Otto Piene’s Sketchbooks. For background, Curatorial A(i)gents was a metaLAB exhibition that featured 11 projects centered on the theme of AI and curatorial practice. The projects utilized the Harvard Art Museums digital collections, or data, and were exhibited at the Museums’ Lightbox Gallery in spring 2022. This recorded talk* features a discussion between the artists and designers of Curatorial A(i)gents who’ve taken a particularly forensic approach to digitally exposing the collections: Through algorithms and visualization, Lins Derry’s Second Look reveals vital assumptions about gender and sentiment at play in art history; in Watching Machines Loving Grace, designer Kim Albrecht critically reflects upon commercial facial recognition systems; and in A Flitting Atlas of the Human Gaze, metaLAB founder Jeffrey Schnapp, working with Dietmar Offenhuber, Todd Linkner, and Kevin Brewster, uses machine vision to chart the ocular politics—who is looking at whom—across the museum’s coin, print, photo, and painting collections. And from within the museum, curatorial fellow Lauren Hanson and technologist Jeff Steward have developed an algorithmic exploration of the sketchbooks of cross-media artist Otto Piene (1928–2014), which the museums received in an extraordinary gift in 2019.
*Closed captioning available!