Codespace and Machine Vision in the City

Originally published in Keen On Issue 6: Codes and Algorithms

Thinkpiece on the work of Liam Young and Josh Begley, autonomous vehicles, codespace and more.

“Viewed together, both ‘Where The City Can’t See’ and ‘Officer Involved’ reinforce the socially produced and culturally contingent realities of geographic space. They poke holes in the idealised “objectivity” of machine vision and the broader boosterism of Silicon Valley and its disciples. To paraphrase James Bridle, the work of Young and Begley stand as vital counterpoints to the ‘quasi-religious faith in computation as the only framework for the production of truth—and hence, ethics and social justice.’ Moreover, they highlight the potential dangers and contradictions of machine vision in the city. The smart city will almost certainly bring with it an increase in everyday surveillance. Yet as these projects show questions over who is seen, who is watched and for whom that machine gaze means, safety or persecution will remain ambiguous and unanswered as we trundle headfirst into the codespaces of tomorrow.”

Originally published in Keen On Issue 6: Codes and Algorithms


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