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Trevor Paglen

From 'Apple' to 'Anomaly'

Installation view of Trevor Paglen's From 'Apple' to 'Anomaly'

Explore the underbelly of our digital world in this exhibition revealing the powerful, and often hidden, forces at play in artificial intelligence.

Artist Trevor Paglen’s new Curve commission takes as its starting point the way in which AI networks are taught how to ‘see’ and ‘perceive’ the world by taking a closer look at image datasets.

Paglen has incorporated approximately 30,000 individually printed photographs, largely drawn from ImageNet, the most widely shared, publicly available dataset. This dataset is archived and pre-selected in categories by humans, and widely used for training AI networks. In some cases, the connotations of categories are uncontroversial, others, for example ‘bad person’ or ‘debtors’, are not. These categories, when used in AI, suggest a world in which machines will be able to elicit forms of judgement against humankind. 

Discover how the advent of autonomous computer vision and AI has developed, rife with hidden politics, biases and stereotypes.

The exhibition has been commissioned by the Barbican using public funding by Arts Council England and supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.


trevor paglen smiling at the camera

Barbican Meets: Trevor Paglen


Artist Trevor Paglen talks to us about AI bias, the power algorithms can hold, and how images can become a currency in a digital age.

Photo of Trevor Paglen talking to the camera

Watch: Trevor Paglen show us how computers see the world

Watch artist Trevor Paglen, as he looks into how artificial neural networks learn and and perceive images.

Trevor Paglen in an exhibition

Trevor Paglen on 'From Apple to Anomaly'

Read Trevor Paglen's talk and conversation with Anthony Downey, where they discuss the deeper meanings behind Paglen's installation in The Curve, revealing the powerful, and often hidden, forces at play in artificial intelligence.

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

Explore Life Rewired


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School groups

Visits for schools are free and booking is not required. Curatorial introductions may be available to school groups, please email [email protected] with your planned visit date to check availability.

Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. It is most appropriate for pupils studying at Key Stage 4 or higher. A pre-visit is recommended for teachers intending to bring students to the exhibition.

Our Teacher Resource is available to download here.

With thanks

Cockayne logo
The London Community Foundation logo

The Curve