Pebble Dataset: Interpolated

Jeff Thompson

Year: 2018
Medium: 5000 found pebbles, Github repository, C-print on paper, custom software, video
Duration: 12 minutes, silent

View the video:

A poetic machine-learning dataset made of 5,000 images of found pebbles. Mimicking the datasets used to train computer vision systems, this project is an intervention that highlights the things we ignore when recording and classifying the world through data. Primarily sited as a repository on the code-sharing site Github, this project is also shown as a print of all the pebbles in the dataset sorted by visual similarity and a video.

Created while a Visiting Fellow (King’s College) and artist-in-residence (Computer Laboratory) at University of Cambridge.

Jeff Thompson (b. 1982, Minneapolis/USA) is an artist, programmer, and educator based in the NYC area. Through code, sculpture, sound, and performance, Thompson’s work physicalizes and gives materiality to otherwise invisible technological processes.

Thompson has exhibited and performed his work internationally at venues including the Museum of the Moving Image, Tufts University, Fridman Gallery, Somerset House, Sheldon Museum of Art, Drugo-more, Salzburger Kunstverein, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Recent commissions and residencies include SPACES, Bell Labs, the Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge, Abandon Normal Devices, Brighton Digital Festival, Impakt, Rhizome, Turbulence, Harvestworks, and Holland Computing Center, the supercomputing facility for the University of Nebraska system. With Angeles Cossio, Thompson co-founded the experimental curatorial project Drift Station, which has mounted exhibitions and publications across the US and online.

Thompson earned an MFA from Rutgers University in 2006. He serves as Assistant Professor and Program Director of Visual Art & Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology.