Work in Progress

Graduate research at Parsons / The New School

Here's a preview of what I am currently working on in my graduate research at Parsons / The New School, New York.

Surrealist Networks: Machine Learning Art as Automatism

Left: Sascha Pohflepp. Spacewalk: Carnivores 3, Generation 320.
Right: Max Ernst. The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism. 1937. Paris, France

In this essay I compare machine learning art (visual art made with ML) with Surrealist automatism technique. I propose a different way of thinking about machine learning as a creative tool: an art and design tool for mind bending — like Surrealist frottage; one that caters to the subconscious, the associative, the imaginary rather than rationale.

Read the full essay here

Embodied Machine Learning

Embodied machine learning is an educational game aimed at people trying to acquire a basic understanding of neural networks before moving on to more in-depth learning.

In technical terms, the game is a (human) handwritten digit classifier trained on the MNIST dataset through supervised learning. Essentially, this means: a group of people together will be able to identify handwritten digits.

A schematic view of the gameplay with seven players.

The game refrains from involving math and calculations and tries to create understanding through metaphors, embodiment, and computational thinking. Reducing complexity requires blurring concepts or omitting them altogether. I try to strike a balance between conceptual accuracy and accessibility; not to over-simplify, but also not to complicate.

Read more on Github


Advisor: Fei Liu