MATCH OF THE DAY Image-comparison-algorithm art project 2003 – 2006

Published on: 20-03-2016



A computer records images at random from about thirty international satellite television channels.
Image-Recognition software analyses the recorded images and compares every image with every other single image stored in the database checking 5000 specified characteristics in each image.
After 1000.000.000 comparisons, the computer generates a list: images that share most of the is visual characteristics appear in pairs at top of this list.

The artist (Geert Mul) then selects pairs of images out of the thousands of pairs of images, which according to the computer make a good visual match. But the computer does not ‘understand’ the images, it just applies pixel statistics.
For the human eye visual similarity is something else than pixel statistics. We attach ‘meaning’ to everything we see. This becomes especially evident when similar images appear to have a contrary meaning. The ‘matches’ found by the computer and selected by the artist, trigger sensations of poetry, humor, beauty or disgust. Geert Mul transforms a random collection of images into a collection of contemporary expressions. He is playing with our inability to ‘see’ without interpretation.