Dull Dreaming
The picture shows a collage of four photos, on the two photos on the left two men are clearly visible, on the two right of it the two men are no longer recognizable and masked.
Workshop and artist talk with Constant Dullaart
Sat, July 07, 2018 2 pm – 6 pm CEST, Workshop

The Dutch artist Constant Dullaart works with artificial neural networks, enabling machine learning and pattern recognition through artificial intelligence. His work »DullDream«, which was technically realized in collaboration with Adam Harvey, can currently be seen in the exhibition »Open Codes«. The artist will introduce his artistic concept of »Dulldream«, finding object hood and interest in representation, the importance of boringness in technology, and the larger »DullTech« project. The participants own practice will be discussed within this framework afterwards.

»Dulldream« reverses the traditional function expected of convolutional neural networks (CNN). CNNs are artificial neural networks that enable machine learning and pattern recognition through artificial intelligence. Facebook, Apple, and Google use them to analyze what is in an image. CNNs are often used for facial and speech recognition and they can also determine objects in images based on their shape, texture, gradients, colors, etc. 

To verify the functionality of a network’s recognition capacity, the network can be requested to amplify the values that help it understand its categorization classes. Pattern recognition amplified, becomes pattern hallucination: The algorithm can make a tomato look even more like a tomato, make a human being even more human.

Constant Dullaart's software does exactly the opposite: For example, if Google's »DeepDream« recognition software emphasizes certain patterns and reinforces them, »DullDream« reduces the characteristic properties of a shape. A deep dream becomes such a dull dream – a »DullDream«. With the program, users can upload images of themselves, which are then deprived of all individual characteristics. The work thus takes an impressive stand against the increasing standardization that pattern recognition brings with it.

A workshop with the artist will take place from 2 pm–5 pm. The workshop will be followed by an artist talk at 5 pm. 
We look forward to a lively exchange and cordially invite you!


Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Accompanying program