shirin anlen
Creative Technologist

 research  |  about

A Raycaster project.

This experiment aimed to expand the understandings of old and new museum’s collections, draws attention to the interdependence of collecting and sheds light on how collections form knowledge of cultural heritage on a larger scale.

In collaboration with Queens Museum, we developed an online and accessible platform showcasing a dynamic image of mass production collectibles and the people that engage with them, open for others to add their own. In short, we set out to create a democratic collection.

Using a digital platform, machine learning and web scraper technologies, we aimed to highlight alternative forms of collections and speculate on the future of how they get displayed and designed.

This project focused on commemorative souvenirs from the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs, which took place in the park where the museum stands today. The Fairs aimed to represent the whole world in one physical space through its nation states and, in 1964, also its corporations.

︎ Medium post on the research

This project has two platforms:
1- an online display of the global collection:

︎ Launch website

2- a physical display at Queens Museum. Presenting a collection of machine learning generated plates. For this phase we used an image recognition, image classification and text to image technology, to explore how can we program a machine that “observes” the plate collection and generates a new plates on its own.

Through this experiment and research, we hoped to deepen our understanding of the process by which humans collect memories, a process that highlights how knowledge and identity are constructed.

︎ Launch demo 

Developed together with: Ziv Schneider.
Additional credits: Regina Cantu de Alba (3D post processing), Sam Lavigne (web development), Eran Hadas (words to sentences generator) & Eyal Gruss (Text 2 Image Generator).

Date: May - October 2018
Platform: Web and physical installation.
Featured: Queens Museum International Biennial 2018
Supported by: NEW INC, Knight Foundation and Queens Museum.


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