16. Machine Seeing

2 Research posts on Machine Seeing

1.0 google image search:
eye color

The image search seems to only show images of white peoples eyes. People of ethnicity are only shown if there eyes are of an unexpected colour. (mostly white 80% 10% asian 5% black). In terms of  if Intersectional theory exists , I think i would say yes as even people shown with brown eyes are mostly white as well. Moreover,  a fascinating experiment in America was done by Jane Elliott, the American.

Elliott was convinced that the best way to tackle the problem of racism was with the very young, so she divided her all-white children into two groups based on eye colour. She told the blue-eyed children that they were superior to their brown-eyed classmates, and she told the brown-eyed, who had to wear identifying collars, that they were less intelligent and poorly behaved. The result, according to her, was that blue-eyed children began to behave arrogantly and, after a short while, the brown-eyed children began to accept their lower position.

The next day she reversed the experiment, and the results reversed, although this time the brown-eyed children, having already experienced discrimination, were more sensitive to the suffering of their blue-eyed peers. The idea was simple and effective. Something as genetically incidental as eye colour became an analogue for the genetic superficiality of skin colour, and it was shown that when one group was favoured over the other, both groups quickly assumed their designated roles as oppressed and oppressor.

A tv documentary was made about this  The Eye of the Storm,  showed that part of the problem is that the blue-eyed group is exclusively white, while the brown-eyed group is predominantly non-white, so that eye colour is no longer an analogue or metaphor for race but a direct referent. The division is not random but instead largely racial.


2.0 Arthur Jafa: Love Is The Message, The message Is Death at The Store Gallery, 180 The Strand

It’s the matter of black life in the United States. A century of police brutality and political gains, of triumph, tragedy, and resilience has been distilled into seven lyric and searing minutes of rapid-fire clips culled from a passel of sources. A partial list: silent movies, documentary footage of marches and concerts, sports coverage, music videos, news stories, Hollywood blockbusters, police-dash-cam downloads, citizen journalism, the artist’s home movies, and, of course, YouTube.Jafa has spoken of his desire to create a cinema that “replicates the power, beauty, and alienation of black music,”.  Its an incredibly powerful piece of work. Showing both the positive and negative use of internet imagery. From hearing president obama sing to police brutality in a black neighbourhoods. From the power of dance to demonstration . In terms of Intersectional theory it seems everywhere; from the lack of respect in which black people are treated historically in America to use of rubber bullets on black demonstrators. Most of the clips were edited from youtube. On the whole a more negative side seems apparent than a positive side of how black lives matter.

machine seeing.

Ways of Machine Seeing



Images used to be seen in 1 place at one time. Now images can be seen in many images at any time.  The original image relies on its uniqueness and its history and heritage. Now images are juxtaposed with other images mainly used for advertising. What is the real image? And what is a copy? Arguments abound; market value needs images to be genuine. This idea was made more by when cameras were invented to record the image. Its a reproduction of the original. The reproduction had destroyed the original meaning as people have multiplied there own meanings onto the copies they process. Paintings are silent and still. Reproduction changes meaning.

Digital search algorithms can give distorted results: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/10/three-black-teenagers-google-racist-tweet

We have to accept that computers and search engines do not think for themselves. They are a reflection of their creators, and in the case of search engines, a reflection of those who use them – us. Negative images of black teenagers aren’t at the top of the search results because Google is racist, but because society reflects our institutional and subconscious prejudices.If people want to see positive images of black young people they are going to have to start writing, searching, reading and sharing them. This is the only way to change the negative perception of black teenagers, and black people

There is a sense in which the world begins to be reproduced through computational models and algorithmic logic, changing what and how we see, think and even behave. Subjects are produced in relation to what algorithms understand about our intentions, gestures, behaviours, opinions, or desires, through aggregating massive amounts of data (data mining) and machine learning

A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies

by Safiya Umoja Noble 

intersectional theory studies the relation between the many different ways that people are kept in a lower social position, controlled, and left out of important parts of society because of their differences

We need more interdisciplinary research and theorizing about how a range of digital technologies are embedded with intersectional and uneven power relations, from the ways in which technologies are structured, through the range of engagements that happen on the web, to the materiality of digital communications infrastructures that include the role of the state and capital in the extraction, manufacture, and disposal of the digital. 

Carmody estimates that another three to five million were killed from 1983 to 2003 in wars over minerals and the control of coltan.[23] Coltan, short for columbite-tantalite, is a mineral, more potent than steel which is needed for computers and electronics to release electrical charges in small capacitors.[24] Contemporary global communications infrastructure, including the internet and the billions of devices, appliances, electronics, and “things” connected to it, could not exist without cheap access to coltan.

lectronics companies such as Google, Apple, Dell, Intel, Sony, Nokia, and Ericsson are heavily invested in the computer and electronics hardware manufacturing industries and need raw minerals such as coltan to produce components such as tantalum capacitors for microprocessor chips. But this labor is outsourced, and thus conveniently out of sight and out of mind, going to low-bidders who provide the cheapest labor under favorable neoliberal economic policies.

It is evident in the toxic waste sites on the west coast of Africa, in Ghana, where e-waste is shipped in from the West and dumped, poisoning land, water, people, and environments.

it is imperative that media and cultural studies scholars offer an account of how the 3.7 million gallons of water used per day by Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon, and the millions more used elsewhere, contribute to an ecology hospitable to infectious disease and its natural reservoirs… Knowing that an estimated 632,000 pounds of mercury were disposed of in United States’ landfills between 1997 and 2007, from just discarded personal computers alone, and that about 130 million cellphones are thrown away each year