Nicolas Malevé
12 Hours of ImageNet
In 2019, for an exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, artist and programmer Nicolas Malevé wrote a computer script that cycled through ImageNet at a speed of ninety milliseconds per image, traversing the entire dataset in a period of two months. The resulting display paused at random points to enable the viewer to “see” some of the images and their labelling. Malevé’s project raises questions about the relation of scale between the overwhelming quantities of images needed to train algorithms, and the human attention and labour required to curate, annotate and verify the photographs.

12 Hours of ImageNet offers an excerpt of the larger project, a fragment of a database that is itself a tiny fragment of the archive of images circulating in the world.

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Nicolas Malevé, 12 Hours of ImageNet (excerpts), 2019, video, Courtesy of the Artist and The Photographers’ Gallery, London

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