In the first picture we can see a ceramic sculpture by the artist Trisha Baga from her series “Hypothetical Artifacts” (2015–2020). Within the series, everyday objects are rendered as imprecise, messy fossiles. Looking at the object of the microscope this seems especially unsettling. Tools that we know as precise, standardised and to be “revealing the truth” of nature are depicted as handcrafted and wobbly. For me, the shiny glaze, usually reserved for art or craft projects like mugs, points to me to the charisma and “aura” and emotions that surrounds certain technologies. I have chosen the microscope, as this is still something many people think of when they think of law enforcement. The question now is what Trisha Baga might depict when she would be asked to make a sculpture of modern day IT-Forensics, possibly based on machine learning applications.
The picture is rather old and not very sharp, to see their work better I recommend googling “Trisha Baga Hypocritical Artifacts”
The second picture is a depiction of how the artist Stefanie Wuschitz imagines a feminist & anti-racist AI. I am especially drawn to the loose ends, the patches and angular connections and how unrefined and bulky the “input”-tools look like compared to the fine mesh of the “inner workings”. The AI looks particularly peaceful and happy, yet some of the parts might work well as weapons. The long fingernails give the impression of something organic and human, something that is growing, while their hair looks rather mechanic.
I stumbled upon the last picture when searching for “scarcity + Machine Learning”. It is a nice derivation of the usual ones and zeros, decision trees and cold blue nodes, gearwheels, and light bulbs that are used when depicting ML. It also points to a part that I am really interested in: Skills, embodied and tacit knowledge and gut feelings within both spheres of ML and law enforcement (and/or the scarcity of them). For me, it also depicts what can happen when the two domains meet; processes of negotiating standardization, valuation, and classification of things like gut feelings.