// new media class

Peter Bartz — Structures

Computational Photography — Summer 2009

Structures is a tool that lets you find out how the average image of a skyline, the moon or an eye would look like. You can browse a database of millions of digital photos and let it find sets of images with similar content which then are averaged to reveal the 'core' of that photos.

That, at least, was the main idea …

In practice this sometimes works and sometimes fails, either because the images have a too complex structure or there simply are not enough matching photos in the database. But nevertheless also the 'accidents' have their right to exist. As the photos get mixed up, often funny, strange, scary or wow collages and structures are being created. The aim of this project was to create something which has a balance of 'let humans do what humans do best' and 'let machines do what machines do best' and thus join forces. The computer is precise, fast and never gets bored. It does a good job at dealing with millions of photos in a fast and responsive way, taking only parts of seconds to find those similar images where a human would sit for years doing it by hand. In contrast to that, humans 'have an eye' and like to play. And they can use the program to do so by selecting tags and images sets and pull a number of sliders and that way browse the almost infinite space of possible structures until they find something special.