Gabriel Pereira

Recoding Art: Van Abbemuseum

During 2018, I worked alongside artist and researcher Bruno Moreschi to read the artworks in the Van Abbemuseum collection (Eindhoven, NL) using commercial image-recognition (Computer Vision) Artificial Intelligences from leading tech companies.

The main takeaways were: somewhat as expected, AI is constructed through a capitalist and product-focused reading of the world (values that are embedded in this sociotechnical system); that this process of using AI is an innovative way for doing institutional critique, as AI offers an untrained eye that reveals the inner workings of the art system through its glitches.

This research, unlike some already existing critical analyses of AI, does not focus on accountability and bias. It aims to regard these glitches as potentially revealing of the art system, and even poetic at times. They reveal the inherent fallibility of the commercial use of AI and machine learning to catalogue the world: it cannot comprehend other ways of knowing about the world, outside the logic of the algorithm. But, at the same time, due to their “glitchy” capacity to nivelate and reimagine, these faulty readings can also serve as a new way of reading art; a new way for thinking critically about the art image in a moment when visual culture has changed form to hybrids of human-machine cognition and “machine-to-machine seeing” (Paglen, 2016).


A research by Bruno Moreschi and Gabriel Pereira.

Short movie, HD, 14’50”, 2019.

Research article to be published on the Deviant Practice publication (early 2019). Pre-print PDF

To be presented at Museum Takeover: Bodies of Knowledge (May 2019).

This project was supported by Deviant Practice Grant (Van Abbemuseum) and CAD+SR.

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