Multimedia-artist working with video, photography and installation, based in Rotterdam.

                Amphi, Noctua, Vespula

                2023 (ongoing)

Amphi, Noctua and Vespula is a three-channel video installation made in collaboration with artist Floor Snels during a 2 month residency period at BIJ/NA in the StadsGalerij in Breda. The video installation is made up of three large-scale metal frames on which are projected three enormous insects; a beetle, a moth, and a wasp.  The three dead insects, that were collected during the residency in the gallery space we worked in, were 3D-scanned using macro photogrammetry scans and converted to extremely  high-resolution 3D-objects. Their heads, now proportionally far outscaling those of the visitors they look down upon, are facing each other. They engage in a dialogue from three perspectives: one from an ecoholistic point, one from an anthropocentric point, and another from a historically questioning one. Together they question their relationship to humans, reflecting and inversing this question upon the audience; how do we value insects, are we capable of building a relationship with these non-human entities, and if so, what would that relationship look like?

The project is shaped to our first collaborative research subject; AI face rezognition. It is becoming more common for our behavior and emotions being monitored online with the use of artifial intelligence facial recognition software. This is being done for a multitude of reasons, ranging from monitoring consumers buying-habits to controlling and censoring political opinion or opposition. But what we found intriguing about this software is that it recognizes and quantifies human emotion. It is because we can train AI models to give meaning to emotions of hapiness, anger, or sadness, that these facial recognition models can be used for capitalist or political purposes, we can give value to human emotion.

We wondered what would happen if we fantasized about a similar technique employed on insects, instead of humans. If we were to be able to get as close to the faces of insects as we can to human faces, could we deduct emotions from their facial expressions? And if we could, would this allow us to form an emotional connection with these entities? These questions have shaped the initial, and ongoing research of this project.

© Noor Boiten