Conference: Synthetic Vision / Images of Power (27-28 June)

Synthetic Vision/Images of Power: Truth, Evidence, Labour & Knowledge in the Age of AI

On 27 and 28 June 2024 Framer Framed invites you to the two-day symposium Synthetic Vision/Images of Power. The programme features talks and discussions that explore the transformations induced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the interplay of power, knowledge and images. The symposium includes talks by a number of artists participating in the Framer Framed exhibition, Really? Art and Knowledge in Time of Crisis.

Synthetic Vision/Images of Power focuses on the unprecedented possibilities of AI in generating ‘synthetic vision’ (the ability to “see” algorithmically) and ‘synthetic image generation’ (the ability to create new images through prompts). These transformations affect three key dimensions of the image.

The first dimension, ‘image-truth’, explores the truth-value of images within contexts such as authentication or facial, emotion and crowd recognition. But it also concerns the generation of synthetic images to mimic reality in large datasets necessary to train other algorithms. The second exploration is focused on ‘image-evidence’, specifically addressing the capacity to recognise or generate images for evidentiary purposes. This dimension holds relevance in the realms of journalism, with considerations surrounding information, propaganda and the identification of fake news. It’s also of importance within the legal sphere, encompassing both the utilisation of images as judicial evidence and their role in event reconstruction. The third dimension lies in the figure of ‘image-labour’, such as computer vision as a result of visible and often invisible labour on the image by programmers, annotators and operators.

Synthetic Vision/Images of Power brings together scholars working with artistic or multimodal methods and artists whose work is approached from a research perspective. This interdisciplinary approach aims to explore how multiple regimes of knowledge production (conceptual, visual, procedural/code based) can complement a critical exploration of the issues at stake.

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DAY 1: Thursday 27 June 2024

15:00 | Introduction (Francesco Ragazzi)

15:30 | Opening Talk: Terror Element (Anna Engelhardt & Mark Cinkevich)

16:00 – 18:30 | Mapping Synthetic Vision

16:00 | Mapping as a critical method for Security Vision (Francesco Ragazzi)

16:20 | Documenting and Visualizing Unknowns and Uncertains in Security Vision (Francesco Luzzana, Erica Gargaglione)

16:40 | Synthetic Battlefield in the Time of Dynamic Maps (Svitlana Matviyenko)

17:00 | Cutting through algorithmic violence (Rocco Bellanova)

17:20 | Discussion (chair: Donatella Della Ratta)

DAY 2 : Friday 28 June 2024

9:30 – 12:00 | Synthetic Images in Conflict

09:30 | Tracklets: the synthetic present of movement tracking (Ruben van de Ven)

09:50 | From AI to paper: de-materializing and re-materializing evidence (Kevin B. Lee)

10:10 | Synthetic Realism: Exploring the Aesthetics and Politics of Generative AI in a time of widespread violence (Donatella Della Ratta)

10:30 | AI in Gaza: Image-evidence, digital suspicion, colonial history (Adi Kuntsman and Rebecca Stein)

10:50 | Discussion (chair: Francesco Ragazzi)

13:00 – 15:30 | Strategies of Resistance

13:00 | AI to Subvert and Expose Evidence (Paolo Cirio)

13:20 | Synthetic Vision for Subversion (Jonathan Luke Austin & Maevia Griffiths)

13:40 | Image-Life (Shintaro Miyazaki)

14:00 | Mobile Lies: A Kinopolitics of Emotion Datasets (Cyan Bae)

14:20 | Discussion (chair: Rocco Bellanova)

16:00 – 18:30 | Strategies of Resistance II

16:00 | A Tale of Two Data Centers (Marloes de Valk)

16:20 | Permacomputing in the arts (Aymeric Mansoux)

16:40 | Algorithmic accountability (Evaline Schot)

17:00 |Social media: Catalysts or obstacles to war crimes investigations? (Maria Mingo)

17:20 | Discussion (chair: Rebecca Stein)

18:30 – 18:45 | Concluding remarks (Donatella Della Ratta)

This event is in English and free of charge.


Synthetic Vision/Images of Power is co-convened by Francesco Ragazzi, Donatella della Ratta, Rocco Bellanova and Rebecca Stein. It has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, SECURITY VISION (grant agreement No. 866535) and DATAUNION (ERC, grant agreement No. 101043213), ReCNTR: Leiden University’s Research Center on Multimodal and Audiovisual Methods in the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Terror Element by Anna Engelhardt and Mark Cinkevich has been commissioned by Framer Framed with the support of the Nederlands Filmfonds and Stimuleringsfonds voor Creatieve Industrie as part of the collaborative project Immerse/Interact.

Framer Framed is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; Amsterdam Fund for the Arts; Municipality of Amsterdam; and VriendenLoterij Fonds.