What is more important? The technological device, the person, or the selfie? The artwork raises this question when facing the audience to take a selfie as part of an artistic installation -it is not just any digital self-portrait-. It is the creation of a new visual context – born from the research archives of the different departments of the EPN (Escuela Politécnica Nacional del Ecuador) – in an analog-digital-interactive piece. *This art piece was commissioned for the “Reprogramar la(s) Materia(s), an Art Show part of the celebrations for the 150 years of the creation of the EPN, October 2019.
Through the use of a deep convolutional network and the training of the algorithm with photographs of thousands of people, the program recognizes the person and isolates them from its background; creating a new picture, a real-time techno collage with the ability to be shared instantly through Instagram @epnselfie
The idea stems from a personal approach to the selfie as an object of self-significance, which goes beyond interactivity with human beings or what they do or understand about it.
The technical challenge of this project was to identify and classify an image in real-time (semantic segmentation). The model used is based on the methodology of L. Chen, G Papandreou (2016). This model builds a maximum-hope (EM) estimator from a semi-supervised learning process. It uses a deep convolutional network and training data set with hand-labeled images.
“Object-selfie-machine” would not have been possible without the support, collaboration, and hard work of the following people:
David Villacis, Doctoral Student in Applied Mathematics
Laboratories that provided the images:
Acoustics Laboratory – Pamela Rivera
Meb Demex – Alicia del Carmen Guevara
Paleontology – José Luis Román
With special thanks to:
Ana María Garzón Mantilla – Curator
Juan Carlos de los Reyes
María Fernanda Orquera