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Kronos Quartet & Trevor Paglen: Sight Machine

An image showing how a computer sees Kronos Quartet as they perform

Artist Trevor Paglen and the ever-inventive Kronos Quartet present Sight Machine, a multimedia performance putting a string quartet under the gaze of machine-vision and artificial intelligence.

We live in a data-driven world, but is it really possible to quantify human emotion? This concert puts that question under surveillance. While the Kronos Quartet perform works by Terry Riley, Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich, Egyptian electronic musician Islam Chipsy and others, the musicians are monitored by cameras feeding into a suite of artificial intelligence algorithms. The software turns this abstracted information back into images, which are then projected onto the screen behind the performers, showing us how machines and their algorithms perceive what we are seeing.

Utilising algorithms ranging from consumer-grade facial detection to advanced surveillance systems and even guided missiles, Sight Machine is a fascinating and unsettling illustration of the discrepancy between what we experience as human beings and what machines ‘see’.

This performance will begin promptly at the advertised start time and running time will be confirmed closer to the event.

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