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Computers watching movies (The Matrix)

Benjamin Grosser

Computers watching movies (The Matrix)
computer-generated HD video with stereo audio

Computers Watch movies shows what a computer system sees when it watches the same movies as us. The work illustrates this vision in the form of a series of temporal sketches, in which the sketching process is presented in time synchronized with the audio of the original clip. Viewers are encouraged to ask how computer vision differs from their own human vision and what this difference reveals in relation to our culture-driven views. Why do we look at what we look at when we look at it? Will a system devoid of any narrative or historical sense of our vision care for the same things?

Computers Watching Movies was produced computer-aided with the help of software written by the artist. This software uses computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence routines to give the system a degree of agency allowing it to decide what it is monitoring and what it does not do not watch. Six known sequences of popular films are used in the work, allowing many viewers to draw on their own visual memory of the scene as they watch it. The scenes are from the following movies: 2001: Space Odyssey, American Beauty, Inception, Taxi Driver, The Matrix, and Annie Hall.

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