[ 0100 ]

Resolution Dispute 0100 : Scaling as Violence


Knowledge of the hidden and knowledge of the measurable





[ 0100 ]

What happens when something exist outside the dimensions or system units of scale? In order to distinguish something of significance from its background environment we must first be able to perceive it. If it remains invisible, inaudible, intangible, or unmeasurable it remains indiscribable and therefore unknowable at least to most of us.

[or: Distances from and behind the screen]
Scale, aspect ratio, size, frequency









 




▋⌁
[analogue]
/ VERTICAL CINEMA   :: LUNAR STORM
About the Vertical Cinema project
What we usually identify as the indisputable ‘temple of film’, the Cinema, is not really a given, especially not in the realm of experimental cinematic arts. Yet this is somehow sidelined in the process of re-thinking the possibilities of cinematic experience, mostly because the architectural frame is already there, if only as a convention established a long time ago within the theatrical arts. Actually, the history of experimental cinema and the art of the moving image suggests that the space might very well be the crucial aspect of the total audiovisual experience – something one should always question and take into consideration when producing a work for audiovisual, sensory cinema.

For the Vertical Cinema project we ‘abandoned’ traditional cinema formats, opting instead for cinematic experiments that are designed for projection in a tall, narrow space. It is not an invitation to leave cinemas – which have been radically transformed over the past decade according to the diktat of the commercial film market – but a provocation to expand the image onto a new axis. This project re-thinks the actual projection space and returns it to the filmmakers. It proposes a future for filmmaking rather than a pessimistic debate over the alleged death of film.

Vertical Cinema is a series of fourteen commissioned large-scale, site-specific works by internationally renowned experimental filmmakers and audiovisual artists, which will be presented on 35 mm celluloid and projected vertically with a custom-built projector in vertical cinemascope.

The programme is made solely for projection on a monumental vertical screen that was first upended in 2013 at Kontraste Festival in Krems, Austria.

About Lunar Storm. 4’15’’ COLOUR; 2013.
The surface of the Moon seems static. Though it orbits the Earth every 27.3 days, with areas of it becoming invisible during this rotation, it is always (visibly or invisibly) above us, reassuringly familiar. The Moon is the best known celestial body in the sky and the only one besides the Earth that humans have ever set foot on.

The Seas of the Moon (Lunar Maria), consisting not of water but of volcanic dust and impact craters, appear motionless to the naked eye. Here, volcanic dust forms a thick blanket of less reflec- tive, disintegrated micro particles. But on rare occasions, beyond the gorges of these Lunar Maria, and only when the lunar termi- nator passes (the division between the dark and the light side of the moon) a mysterious glow appears. This obscure phenomenon, also known as lunar horizon glow, is hardly ever seen from Earth.

Beyond the gorges of the Lunar Maria, the Moon is covered with lunar dust, a remnant of lunar rock. Pummelled by meteors and bombarded by interstellar, charged atomic particles, the molecules of these shattered rocks contain dangling bonds and unsatisfied electric connections. At dawn, when the first sunlight is about to illuminate the Moon, the energy inherent to solar ultraviolet and X-ray radiation bumps electrons out of the unstable lunar dust; the opposite process occurs at dusk (lunar sunset). These electrostatic changes cause lunar storms directly on the lunar terminator that levitate lunar dust into the otherwise static exosphere of the Moon and result in ‘glowing dust fountains’.

official website || Vertical Cinema about


Myopia 2015

[ Wavelets ]
‘Myopia’ (2015)
Myopia (2015)
13x3.5m wall vinyl showcasing wavelets and extruding vectors.
Zooms into the JPG2000 wavelet compression artefacts.

Myopia zooms into the JPG2000 wavelet compression artefacts, created by introducing a line of ‘other language’ into the JPEG2000 file data.

The day before the iRD closed its doors, visitors were invited to bring an Exacto Knife, to cut their own resolution of ‘Myopia’, and mount them on any institution of choice (book, computer or other rigid surface).


Myopia (2015)
“No objects, spaces, or bodies are sacred in themselves; any component can be interfaced with any other if the proper standard, the proper code, can be constructed for processing signals in a common language.” - Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto (1985). Link pg. 32

 
Backstory
Its a late, clear night during the Winter of 2016. From the porch of my little cabin in the Mojave Desert I observe strange lights in the air. They are floating along the mountain rims, 30 kilometres up North. Its not the first time that there, in the distance and above a simulation village some name ‘little Baghdad’, I see the military test their new strange flying machines. At night, I film the lights and record the unexplainable rumblings; the different forms of sound pollution in the otherwise quiet desert. During the day, I drive around, exploring with my binoculars.

I read all of the few magazines in the cabin, issued by CLUI (Center of Land Use Interpretation). They feature research on several military outposts ranging from nuclear test villages in Nevada to the USAF-51 Aerial photo calibration targets. And it is then when I feel no longer like a lost visitor in the desert. The desert, the military and I are connected by our research in resolutions.

This Google maps screenshot depicts a slab of concrete displaying an original USAF-51 resolution target, a two-dimensional optical artefact that was used for the development and calibration of aerial photography, following a measurement sometimes refered to as Ground Resolved Distance.
The resolution of an aerial photograph can be described as “a GRD > 0,5 m;” meaning that objects of 0,5m or larger can be detected or interpreted from the image in question. Smaller objects presumably will not be resolved and, therefore, are not interpretable.

The history of these targets is shrouded in mystery and their locations are hard to track down. Even CLUI (the Center for Land Use Interpretation) in LA had no information about their location for me. During a long Google Maps stumble session, I suddenly roll over the coordinates of one of the huge slabs of concrete. Surprisingly, its location is rather close: a 3hrs drive North West of the cabin, East of the Mojave Base ‘Fort Irwin’. Its a pilgrimage that needs to be prepared - its not clear if the dirt roads leading to the lonesome, decommissioned slab of concrete are maintained. But the slab of obsolete technology speaks to me: it is the first physical embodiment of my research.


︎ corona test targets near Casa Grande @google maps




  


A PROPOSAL FOR:

Decalibration Target

A DCT resolution target for decalibration, in the Mojave Desert.

Proposal
Inspired by the USAF-51 Resolution Target, I wish to build a Decalibration Target. Located in the Mojave Desert, in line with the locations of the orginal USAF-51 test patterns West of the Black Mountain Wilderness and East of the Edwards Air Force Base. 

But instead of featuring a USAF-51 resolution pattern, the target will carry a message for decalibration, written in DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform). By doing so, the work that will tie together different parts of an Ecology of Compression Artefacts. 

In time, the target will be documented by Google Earth, a documentation that I welcome as part of the work.

The project will reach over the boarders of the digital art, as it combines many of parts of our daily life (military, art, Google navigation). The project aims to bring together these institutions, to instigate possible conversation. At the same time, the project reflects on practices of 1960s and 1970s land art, which were never build to visit, but just to be referenced as a photo in a catalogue, and frames these tradition within a contemporary framework.


Background writing / research:
▚▛ On resolution
▚▛ On racial bias in resolution test cards

Related artworks:
▚▛ On file formats
▚▛ On the JPEG compression
▚▛ On DCT
▚▛ An Ecology of Compression Complexities

Proposal for a solo show.
- possible Decalibration Target
- video on color test cards [letting Lena talk]
- Release of Beyond Resolution catalogue  
- prints of an Ecology of Compression Ecologies
 

mock up of the Decalibration Target.
 

☗ 
non
quadrilateral
[monument]





Spomenik (2017)

A monument for resolutions that will never be.


The Spomenik is inspired by the Spomeniks from the Balkan; brutalist monumental architecture, historically commemorating “many different things to many people”. The shape is inspired by Spomeniks such as Tjentiste and Ostra, but does not directly copy their shape but uses these structures as a reference.

This Spomenik is dedicated to resolutions that will never be, such as ‘screen objects’ (shards) and the not (yet) implemented possibilities non quadrilateral screens have to offer.

This installed shard is three meter high, hiding a VR installation behind, running DCT:SYPHONING. The VR is accessible from the back of the Spomenik. The projection on the Spomenik is partially a mapped live stream from the VR, if this is technically is not possible then I will provide a video, which he has to be partially mapped (via a simple masking process).

The Spomenik features textures of these compression complexities, commemorating their biased histories.




︎ The Spomenik was build with the help of  Casey Bloomquist.

SOLO SHOW: Shadow Knowledge (2020)



︎ Solo show at SJSU art galleries (3th of March - May 15th 2020) 
Publication: Beyond Resolution
Works: Whiteout, Unresolved, 365 perfect decalibration and Les Inconnues.





It is often said that all we have is the past to train with. I believe there is truth to that. But some importance also lies in our contemporary state. To engage with contemporary digital culture means to be able to formulate a sharp and critical point of view, which involves analysis and active change through critical thought processes, such as speculation. Uncovering and studying these spaces of speculation is of vital importance.

What is ultimately necessary for this, is Shadow Knowledge: in the shadows, things lack definition. In the shadows we can find objects of unsupported dimension and scale, ambiguous and fluid. The shadows are blurry and liminal, but ultimately potent spaces that can exist between what is enlightened and opaque (or black boxed).

Shadows offer shady outlines, that can function either as a vector of progress or a paint by numbers. In the shadows we can rest, heal and recalibrate. Now is not the time to hope or fear. It is the time to look for new weapons. The future lies in the shadows of our present.

In Shadow Knowledge, Menkman presents four recent bodies of work, which explore the experience of lack and loss through oversaturation. Throughout, Menkman explores what she terms “Shadow Knowledge,” the blurry and liminal, but ultimately potent space that can exist between the enlightened and the opaque, derived from objects of unsupported dimension and scale.

Some installation photos



Pressrelease from the SJSU website
The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery is pleased to present the work of digital media artist Rosa Menkman in a solo exhibition that will open on March 3, on display through May 20, 2020.

Born in 1983 in Arnhem, Netherlands, artist and researcher Rosa Menkman has worked extensively on pushing the boundaries of technology through the exploration of glitches, compressions, encoding, and other feedback artifacts that are accidentally produced in analogue and digital media.

Menkman’s career has been defined by a strong basis in research, and her artistic and curatorial projects have often been accompanied by publications. In 2010, Menkman published the Glitch Studies Manifesto, in which she laid out eight statements on understanding and working with glitch. The seminal one being that one must start by accepting the inevitability of such errors. “Acknowledge that although the constant search for complete transparency brings newer, ‘better’ media, every one of these improved techniques will always possess their own inherent fingerprints of imperfection,” wrote Menkman. In 2011, Menkman published Glitch Moment/um, which explores the growing field of glitch art and examines it through critical, technical and cultural lenses, before considering the possibilities of a glitch art genre.

In 2019, Menkman received the prestigious Collide International/Barcelona award and residency from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research for her proposal “Shadow Knowledge”. As an artist fellow at CERN, Menkman works in dialogue with the scientists at the organization’s particle accelerator facilities. This opportunity has given Menkman the chance to deepen her research in resolutions, especially from the perspective of scale.

Shadow Knowledge presents three recent bodies of work. In the video projection Whiteout, Menkman explores a personal anecdote, the true story of a mountain hike in a snowstorm. As Menkman made her way up the mountain, she noted not only her physical sensations: inability to see, hear, or orient herself, but also the oversaturation of the environment, the realization that spatial dimension was seemingly wiped out.

In Pique Nique pour les Inconnues, Menkman considers the ways in which the history of technology has been defined by standardization, in particular through the use of color test cards of image processing. The work presents les Inconnues – unknown women whose images are linked to the history of image processing. In this work, test card holders, bots, virtual assistants, stock photos and others find a voice, but fail to recover their personhood. As Menkman states, “Engineers used these female objects to evaluate the quality of image processing, rendering and composition of architecture and to make these latent spaces more amicable. While these women seem to be able to prolong their existence for as long as the (digital) realms will copy and reuse them, most of them have lost their name and identity.” In this work, the viewer is haunted by the familiarity of these digital ghosts, while at the same time, privy to an uncanny experience when the historically mute images speak for the first time.

In 365 Perfect, Menkman turns to mobile imaging softwares. 365 Perfect is “the best FREE virtual makeup app, period. It’s like having a glam squad in your pocket” – or so states the software. In this humorous, yet discomforting work, Menkman layers the standard features of beautifying software on her own image, enlarging her eyes, deleting blemishes and enhancing features, until the original face is nearly unrecognizable. Over and over, Menkman alters her likeness, seemingly to make herself appear more conventionally beautiful and more “perfect”. Saving her image at every new iteration, she arrives at a re-compressed pixelated JPEG, and a grotesque, if not almost unhuman self-portrait. Presented at the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery in the form of prints, 365 Perfect is not only a powerful commentary on the relationship between mobile technology and the beauty industry, but a careful exploration of resolution loss, and the visual artifacts that are created as a result.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, Rosa Menkman will present an illustrated lecture 5:00pm – 6:00pm the evening of March 3, 2020, just prior to the opening reception, 6:00pm-7:30pm.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Rosa Menkman, Andrew Blanton, Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator at San José State University, and curator Aaron Wilder for their help with this exhibition.

Alena Sauzade

LOCATION: Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, Art Building, San José State University
(Near 9th / San Carlos Streets)
EXHIBITION DATES: March 3, 2020 – May 15, 2020





Beyond Resolution (2020)
Published on the occaision of my solo show at SJSU art galleries (3th of March - May 15th 2020): Shadow Knowledge but also comprising work from 2 earlier solo shows (institutions of Resolution Disputes, 2015, and Behind White Shadows, 2017). Beyond Resolution is downloadable as pdf here
Menkman, Rosa. Beyond Resolution (i.R.D.: 2020).
ISBN: 978-90-828273-0-9


In Beyond Resolution, Menkman insists on an extended formulation of resolution. A resolution is not just a trade-off between settings that manage speed and functionality, while considering materials affordances.
A resolution also always involves the inherent compromise of other ways of rendering. It is through these other ways - the alternative but not implemented resolutions - that we need to train to see, run and formulate our alternatives. With the example of the genealogy of the color test cards, Menkman offers an exemplary way to make such latent and biased power structures more apparent.

In Beyond Resolution, Menkman insists that these standard images, trapped in the histories of our technologies, become part of the public domain. In order to illuminate the white shadows that govern the outcomes of our image processing technologies, we must document the genealogies of standardization. These genealogies belong in high school textbooks: the latent violence coded within such norms should be studied as part of standard curricula to inform a future generation of engineers of compromises made in the past.

This independently published book consists of a collection of different types of texts ranging from short stories to an introduction into basic optics and a manifesto like text.

The publication is accompanied by a collection of artworks that Menkman developed during a triptych of solo shows (institution of Resolution Disputes, Behind White Shadows and Shadow Knowledge), all geared towards introducing and developing the concept: "Resolution Studies".

Whiteout (2020)


Two Channel Video, 15 minutes
Essay originally written for AX15 (a project by Mario de Vega).
Whiteout was re-published In: Photoresearcher 33 (2020) site here / pdf.
Whiteout was inspired by my time during the CERN Collide International residency award 2019, our climb of the Brocken and time on a boat with the Chilean army crossing the Drake Passage to Antartica and back. 

In Whiteout, Menkman presents the story of a mountain hike in a snowstorm. As Menkman made her way up the mountain, she noted not only her physical sensations: inability to see, hear, or orient herself, but also the oversaturation of the environment, the realization that spatial dimension was seemingly wiped out.
What does it mean to navigate a grey, dimensionless space? To move without visual or auditory references and to physically plot a course when there is no sense of direction or even horizon? For Menkman, the experience of Whiteout is one of “slices of consciousness, and traversing a virtual axis to nowhere. A landscape with multiple horizons, in which orientation between top and bottom does not exist except within the mind of the wanderer. And even though things seemed to happen in the same space, this state created different places, all layered at once.”



The sound starting from around minute 9 is from a live performance recording by Mario de Vega.
Some of the footage is also taken by him during our shooting of AX15.
The stroboscopic images are all from the slides of the 2 year colloquium “Resolution Studies,” which is documented here.
Some images of Whiteout in AX15 (a project by Mario de Vega) : 






 

Unresolved (2020)


64 meters, data file on hardware
Inspired by the 2011 works “Beyond Yes and No” and “29 PARALLEL STRIPES”, by glitch artist Beflix, Unresolved explores an alternative method of painting data.
Using a bitmap image, Menkman followed the linear organization of pixelelated data: in a BMP file, the image data (luminocity and chrominance) is encoded pixel by pixel, in a linear fashion, one after the other.
In Unresolved, every pixel or point of data is painted on a 64 meter long canvas strip, and then mounted on a frame.
When hung correctly, unrolled over hardware with the right dimensions, Unresolved displays a double sided image - on one side Menkmans portrait, and on the other side a message in DCT (Menkman’s cryptographic tool from 2015): BEYONDRESOLUTION. 
Through this work, Menkman presents the ways in which a bitmap file, when ‘opened’ on different hardware, can create alternate modes of reading and seeing: the hardware defines what is perceived.
some images of the making of: 32 stripes of canvas were encoded, sewn into a very long strip, and painted.

Pique Nique pour Les Inconnues



Pique Nique pour les Inconnues (2019 - 2020)


Pique Nique pour Les Inconnues is a desktop video (8 minutes) and a Telegram stickerset based on the essay “Behind White Shadows of Image Processing
The stickerset was made for Berlin Zentrum der Netzkunst

In Pique Nique pour les Inconnues, Menkman considers the ways in which the history of technology has been defined by standardization, in particular through the use of color test cards for image processing. The work presents les Inconnues - unknown women whose images are linked to the history of image processing. In this work, test cards, bots, virtual assistants, stock photos and others find a voice, but fail to recover their personhood. As Menkman states, “Engineers used these female objects to evaluate the quality of image processing, rendering and composition of architecture and to make these latent spaces more amicable. While these women seem to be able to prolong their existence for as long as the (digital) realms will copy and reuse them, most of them have lost their name and identity.” In this work, the viewer is haunted by the familiarity of these digital ghosts, while at the same time, privy to an uncanny experience when the historically mute images speak for the first time.


A fundamental part of the history of image-processing, webdesign, and the standardization of settings within both analogue and digital media are test cards, placeholder images, bots and virtual assitants. Engineers used these female objects to evaluate the quality of image processing, the rendering and composition of architecture and to make these latent spaces more amicable. While these women seem to be able to prolonge their existence for as long as the (digital) realms will copy and reuse them, most of them have lost their name and identity.

🕐🕑🕒🕓🕔🕕🕖🕗🕘🕙🕚🕛🕧🕜🕝🕞🕟🕠🕡🕢🕣🕤🕥🕦
The stickerset is made of the 24 clockface emojis, each connected to a sticker of an Inconnue (an unknown woman or shell without ghost) and their history. Every half an hour is now set to a reminder of one of the shells.
Telegram sticker set  (Can only be used on smartphone when you have the Telegram app installed)
    

l’Inconnue de la Seine (after 1900)
The Unknown Woman of the Seine is a death mask of an unidentified young woman that became a popular fixture on the walls of artists’ homes after 1900. She featured in various artists works ranging from books to theatre and film. But while many artists felt inspired by her borrowed visage, little but her moniker is known about her and she remains forever an asset with missing values.
- A radiolab podcast
🕐💀

Audrey Munson Bust (1913-1915)
The bust “The Spirit of Life”, by Daniel Chester French (1913-1915), inspired by ‘America’s First Supermodel’ Audrey Munson. Munson was the inspiration for more than 12 other statures in New York City, and many, many others elsewhere. Chances are that when you cross a statue, it might be modelled after her.
- Greyer, Andea. Queen of the Artists' Studios The Story of Audrey Munson. 2007

🕑🗽

Color-timing control strips
Officially known as color-timing control strips, these anonymous female film studio workers were affectionately dubbed "china girls" by the industry, but are also known as leader ladies or
lilys. The images in this show were meant only for use by the processing lab to match color tones in the associated film.  They were often film lab workers themselves.
- Leaderlady project at SAIC
- Julie Buck and Karin Segal: Girls of Film
- Lili on the web
- Leaderladies and friends
- Sprocket girls

🕒🎞📽
Miss NBC (1953)
The onset of color television brought no big surprise; in this medium too, producers hired Caucasian ladies as their test models, reinforcing longstanding biases in gender and race—the only difference being that in television, the objectified test model was known by her real name. The red-haired model Marie McNamara, for instance, became known in the 1950s when she modeled to calibrate the NBC television cameras, while CBS used a girl named Patty Painter.
“You know what a black-and-white test pattern is,” she told The New York Times in 1953.“Well, I’m it for color.
I’m the final check.”- Marie McNamara
- Living Test Patterns: The Models Who Calibrated Color TV

🕓📺
Two Bit Teddi Smith (1961)
Lawrence G. Roberts used two different, cropped 6-bit grayscale scanned images from Playboy's July 1960 issue, featuring Playmate Teddi Smith, in his MIT master's thesis on image dithering.
-Original thesis

🕔💾◼️◽️
Carole Hersee (1967)
Hersee is known as the face of the famous Test Card F (and latter J, W, and X), which aired on BBC Television from 1967 to 1998.

🕕📡
Lenna or Lena (1972)
is the name given to a standard test image widely used in the field of image processing since 1973. It is a picture of the Swedish model Lena Söderberg, shot by photographer Dwight Hooker, cropped from the centerfold of the November 1972 issue of Playboy magazine.
The spelling "Lenna" came from the model's desire to encourage the proper pronunciation of her name. "I didn't want to be called Leena".
- More in Behind White Shadows
- Finding Lena, the Patron Saint of JPEGs

🕖💽🍑
Maureen the LAD girl (1974)
The color-timing practice was not completely reliable; it involved a different China Girl and slightly different lighting each time. One of the reasons why around the 1980s, the technology was gradually superseded by the Laboratory Aim Density (LAD) system, developed by John Pytlak. Along with color-timing, the anonymous China Girls, whose occupancy ranged from studio workers to models, became artifacts of an obsolete film history and only one “LAD Girl” became the model for the color reference card: Maureen Darby.
Pytlak describes that “It was primarily intended as ‘representative’ footage, and not a standard.” By filming two 400-foot rolls of 5247 film, “all film supplied since the introduction of LAD is made from the same original negative, either as a duplicate negative, and now as a digital intermediate.”
- John P. Pytlak Technical Achievement LAD

🕗📊

Anya Major (1984)
is an American television commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. It was conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at ChiatDay, produced by New York production company Fairbanks Films, and directed by Ridley Scott. English athlete Anya Major performed as the unnamed heroine and David Graham as Big Brother.
- Apple 1984 commercial

🕘🛠
Kodak Shirley card (until 1995)
The identities of the many Shirleys who modeled for these normal standard cards stayed unknown. As such, the cards cultivated a gendered, race-biased standard reference, which even today continues to influence our image-processing technologies.
In his 1997 book White, British film studies professor Richard Dyer observes the following: "In the history of photography and film, getting the right image meant getting the one which conformed to prevalent ideas of humanity. This included ideas of whiteness, of what color — what range of hue — white people wanted white people to be.”
- Looking at Shirley, the Ultimate Norm: Colour Balance, Image Technologies, and Cognitive Equity

🕙☣️
Jennifer in Paradise (1996)
In 2013, Constant Dullaart wrote an open letter to Jennifer Knoll, who was the model for the Photoshop test image and as a result, the model for the first digitally altered image. In his letter, he requested to enter the original image into the public domain or to gift it to an (media) archeological institution such as the Smithsonian. He never received a direct response, but he did digitally reconstruct the original image and created an image series consisting of Photshopped versions, materialized as wallpapers and a series of prints featuring enthusiastically filtered Jennifers (twirled, blurred, etc.).
Remarkably, in a response for the Guardian, the original image was published.
- Constant Dullaart: Jennifer in Paradise – the correspondence
🕚‼️♊️
Kodaks Multi-Racial norm reference card (1995)
The de-facto, racist standard that had been in play since the early part of the twentieth century in most analogue photo labs has been positively biased towards white skin tones, which naturally have a high level of reflectivity.
As a result it was difficult to capture darker and black skin tones and proved impossible to capture two highly contrasting skin tones within the same shot; when trying to capture a black person sitting next to a white person, the reproduction of any African-American facial images would often lose details and pose lighting challenges, and finally present ashen-looking facial skin colors that contrast strikingly with the whites of eyes and teeth.
From the single “Caucasian” woman surrounded by the necessary color balancing information codes, Kodak’s Shirley evolved into an image of three women with different skin colors.
- Lorna Roth Color film was built for white people. Here's what it did to dark skin. (2015)

🕛✅📸
Jen Kind, the Everywhere Girl (1996)
Before microstock was even a thing, model Jen Kind (then Jen Anderson) posed for a stock photo shoot in Portland, Oregon as a pensive, inquiring college student, pen in hand, ready to learn.
Her image wound up being published thousands of times on book covers, in self-help guides, and major advertising campaigns. Anderson’s likeness embodied a certain widely malleable narrative that photo editors, art directors, and marketers could use to illustrate a range of projects, and led her to be branded “Everywhere Girl.”

🕧✏️🖋📈
Ann Lee (1999 - 2003)
Together with Pierre Huyghe, Parreno acquired Ann Lee’s copyright by paying 46000 Yen to a design character company called ‘K’ Works. “Ann Lee’s was cheap. Designed to join any kind of story, but with no chance to survive”. After being sold, Parreno and Huyghe gave Ann Lee a second life by passing her onto other artists who created their own story lines for the character – free of charge.
The project was called ‘No Ghost Just a Shell’ and ran from 1999 until 2003. Then, Parreno and Huyghe decided that the copyright of this fictional character be assigned to her so she no longer could be exploited. A lawyer in New York drew up an official contract.
“She’s a polyphonic character . . . What’s interesting about this manga gure is that it’s a way to tell a story. A sexual story? You can use her. A dark story? You can use her. A nice story? You can use this character. She’s almost like a tool.”
As this quote suggests, Huyghe seems unsure as to the gender of Annlee, who is alternately a “she,” an “it,” and (almost) a “tool.” Is Ann Lee an object, or is she just objectified?
- Pierre Huyghe, Two Minutes Out of Time, 2000.
- Escaping Ghost
- Girlhood and the plastic Image by Heather Warren Crow

🕜👽
Suzanne (2002)
In 2002 Not a Number Technologies (NaN), the company that was behind Blender, went bankrupt. Nevertheless, they put out one more release, 2.25. As a sort-of easter egg, and last personal tag, the artists and developers decided to add a 3D model of a chimpanzee head, although it is called a "monkey" in the software, who they named Suzanne.
Suzanne is still included in Blender, which was later saved. The largest Blender contest gives out an award called the Suzanne Award.

🕝🐒

Hannah Stellar / Parked Domain Girl (2005)
Dunstin Steller took this photo of his sister, Hannah Stiller, and tossed it onto his iStockPhoto portfolio. For a few cents, Demand Media scooped up the photo and was then licensed to use it throughout their web properties. Every time a website goes dark, Demand Media scoops up the domain registration and parks it, with ads and links around this photo. The file is usually saved with the name "0012_female_student.jpg".
"Parked domain girl” or “the Expired Domain Girl“ has since spurred a little online fandom.
“Is it even her own at this point? Is it recognisable by a significant number of folk? Is this image ubiquitous (enough)? I’d argue the face/image is ours more than hers at this point.”
- Emilie Gervais: Parked Domain Girl Tombstone
- Parker Ito: Parked Domain Girl

🕞🌐💤
Fabio (2012)
In 2012 Deanna Needell and Rachel Ward got permission from the agent of Fabio Lanzoni to use the popular male model’s likeness rather than use Lena.
- Deanna Needell and Rachel Ward: Lena vs Fabio
- Stable image reconstruction using total variation minimization
🕟🧺 🧷
Render Ghost
(the only identified ghost: Olson Twin) (2013)
A collection of portraits that fill the 3D renders of future architecture, captured from billboards on the streets of London. James Bridle states: “The Render Ghosts are the people who live inside our imaginations, in the liminal space between the present and the future, the real and the virtual, the physical and the digital. A world of architecture, urbanism and the city before it is completed - which is also never. They inhabit a space which exists only in the virtual spaces of 3D computer rendering software, projected onto billboards, left to rot and torn down when the actual future arrives; never quite as glossy or as perfect as our renderings of it would like it to be, or have prepared us for.”
The question is have you seen these people? Did they give permission for their images to inhabit these architectures?
- The Render Ghosts James Bridle
- Render Search

🕠🏗👻
Ariwasabi aka Ariane (2014)
You MUST have seen her in the last years! “Ariane is so ubiquitous, she has probably entered your subconscious at some point”
- Shutterstock
- The photomodel that wanted to be anonymous

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Tay (2016)
(Zach Blas version)
Tay was a chat bot based on artificial intelligence,originally released by Microsoft via Twitter on March 23, 2016. But Tay caused subsequent controversy when she began to post inflammatory and offensive tweets through its Twitter account, causing Microsoft to shut down the service only 16 hours after its launch.
- I am here to learn so by Zach Blas

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The Other Nefertiti (2015)
An artistic intervention by Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al- Badri.
By orchestrating a leak of the 3d file information of the Nefertiti bust, they wished to “activate the artefact, to inspire a critical re-assessment of today’s conditions and to overcome the colonial notion of possession in Germany's museums.”
With regard to the notion of belonging and possession of material objects of other cultures, the artists intention is to make cultural objects publicly accessible and to promote a contemporary and critical approach on how the “Global North“ deals with heritage and the representation of “the Other”.
We should tell stories of entanglement and Nefertiti is a great case to start with to tell stories from very different angles and to see how they intertwine.
- The other Nefertiti by Nora Al-Badri & Jan Nikolai Nelles

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Actroid: Ashley from Oddcasts (2019) 
Ashley is “a virtual nurse for human patients. Her appearance and voice were developed by ODDCAST, a provider of text-to-speech software.
[...] The possibility of discrimination on the basis of simulated femininity has long been part of the code of female impersonators. Alexa has a plethora of responses should she face harassment.” In her installation OFFREAL, Malin Kuht gives the virtual assistants their say.
- Malin Kuth: OFFREAL (2019)

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A Ghost for De-Calibration (2019)
Soon after the release of a Vernacular of File Formats (2010), a sequence of nonconsensual, non-attributed instances of exploitation appeared: my face became an embellishment for cheap internet trinkets such as mugs and sweaters and application buttons proprietary glitch softwares. The image, exploited by artists and creators alike, started to lose its connection to the source—to me—and instead became the portrait of no one in particular, a specter, similar to a Shirley test image, though in this case, a Shirley for de-calibration.
Last May (2019) I was asked to lend the image to Vogue (the US fashion magazine). I took this as an opportunity to reclaim the image in the only way I could imagine possible - by renaming the portrait formally known as “Blinx (from a Vernacular or File Formats)” to “A Ghost for De-calibration”. With this small, probably to most invisible action, I wish to take a stand against the discourse of color test cards and promote the consideration and creation of alternative cards and resolutions.
- De-Calibration Card

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365 Perfect decalibration (2019-2020)
365 perfect is “the best FREE virtual makeup app, period. It’s like having a glam squad in your pocket!”
The options in the app include virtual photo make-up, which has filters such as ‘delete blemishes’, or ‘brighten and soften skin’. It can also deepen the smile, put lipstick or even lip tatoos, enlarge the eyes and make the face slimmer, lift the cheeks, enhance the nose, or resize the lips. And lets not forget to whiten the teeth, add eyelashes, eye liner and eyebrows and finally change the hairstyle.
This sticker is created by using the app to make myself perfect. not once, not twice, but hundreds of times over, more perfection one year along.
If everyday I could get just one shade lighter, slimmer cheeks or bigger eyes... how perfect would I become?
By re-saving my newly beautified face every iteration, the artifacts of a re-compressed JPEG and the absurdity of our beautifying standards are amplified.
- 365 Perfect

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