Philipp Schmitt

Tunnel Vision

Series of 28 photographs, 35mm analog film
“toilet, sink, frisbee,” 35mm B/W film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“toilet, sink, frisbee,” 35mm B/W film, Tunnel Vision (2020)

Tunnel Vision is a series of 35mm analog photographs depicting 80 object categories of the Common Objects In Context (COCO) image dataset.

I photographed computer-recognizable examples of COCO’s object categories in the city of New York, where I live. My goal was to test the dataset’s alleged universality in one actual place. Marking a shift of perspective I frequently explore in my work, the project required me to reorient my own gaze — to look through the viewfinder of my camera from the worldview the dataset puts forward.

The series focuses on the combinatory logic by which context is constructed in the dataset, asking what would be considered normal, what absurd? In other words, could data change us cognitively?

An introductory essay is published on Unthinking Photography.

Credits

Commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery for a solo exhibition as part of the Data/Set/Match programme. Curated by Jon Uriate, and produced by Sam Mercer. Essay edited by Ioanna Zouli. Scheduled for April 2020, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“pizza, fire hydrant”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“pizza, fire hydrant”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“person, traffic light, person, traffic light, dining table”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“person, traffic light, person, traffic light, dining table”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“clock, clock, person”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“clock, clock, person”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“sandwich, zebra”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)
“sandwich, zebra”, 35mm colour film, Tunnel Vision (2020)