Visually Similar

I don’t have a lot of experience with actual syllabi because most of my college classes didn’t involve books, but my understanding of them is that they’re basically like “hey check this out and then let’s talk about it” which is something I have a lot of experience with.

A lot of my art is about stuff I’ve found on the internet or elsewhere, and about wanting to talk about it.  Why did it get made?  What was the person who made it thinking about?  What did they put it on the internet for?  Is the place I found it where they intended for it to end up?  Do they even know it’s there?  Are other people looking at it?  What is this to the person who made it?  What is it to me?  What is it to someone else?  Isn’t it crazy how much things can change without changing?

I have a project called I’m Google and a lot of people who see it assume I use the “visually similar” search function to create it, which isn’t really the case.  It’s not actually as helpful for that project as it seems like it would be, but I do try to use it.  More often than not it results in unhelpful results that are themselves a beautiful set of images, and so I started screencapping them and isolating my favorite images that to me really highlight the beauty and absurdity of the visually similar search function itself.

Isn’t it weird how these things you’d never think to put together actually have a lot in common?  Why is it so satisfying to look at?  Isn’t it crazy how we scroll past so many bizarre images every day without considering it?  Have you really looked at these images?  What weird combinations would other parameters yield?  What weird groups have my images been a part of?  What weird groups have I been a part of?  What would humans be like if we weren’t obsessed with organizing things?  Do animals organize things?  Is organization the meaning of life?  Do I have OCD?

a syllabus by Dina Kelberman

Dina is cited in Elizabeth Goodspeed’s syllabus, On Collecting (Kind of)