Keywords:object, machine learning, collage, boundary-making, photography
This text is an artistic companion to the accompanying collages where complexity, ambiguity, emergence, and abstraction are emphasised. Through artistic practice I investigate the primacy of objects and their relations. Consistent with Barad’s Agential Realism, objects are constructed through their relations. This conflicts with a capitalist and colonialist view where objects pre-exist relations and are that which can be extracted, used and/or consumed. The images herein are composed from fragments of photographs taken at a particle accelerator facility where fragment boundaries are constructed by a machine learning algorithm. Images are composed by placing fragments according to their relationships using a second machine learning algorithm that emphasises some boundaries and dissolves others. These layers of boundary-making are analogous to cognitive processes where the objects of thought are proxies for complex relations. This is the crux of our contemporary era; social and material complexity cause us to attend to objects at the detriment of the systems that allows those objects to be.