Category Archives: art

Still Future Edinburgh Art Show

I ( Jason Herzmark ) am currently showing woodblock prints made in collaboration with an Artificial Intelligence.

Repurposing Facial Recognition Software used to identify faces in crowds to generate images of the machines idea of us.

The machine produces images that are not quite faces but ambiguous pixel art that seemingly alters with distance as our own facial recognition moires with the tropes of the neural network.

A program helps me ink the woodblocks for the 56 impressions to produce each greyscale image in carbon ink on somerset cotton rag paper.

These prints can be seen at St Margrets House in Edinburgh from Feb 8th through 16th 10-4 in Still Future, a group show featuring the Artists :

Richard Ashrowan , John Ayscough , Martin Fowler , David Fryer , Jason Herzmark , Chad McCail , Billy McCall , Robert Montgomery & Andrew Smith

Poster for Still Future 2014 Group Show Edinburgh


Wasting my young Years – London Grammar – Rich Voice

The rich voice of London Grammar Chanteuse helps shuts out all the noise and distraction and helps me focus.

The dreamy intense video combines is from footage produced from 625 pinholes exposing a single roll of film in one go. A hand-crafted multi-lens timeslice camera by the duo Bison.


Alchemy on Ubuntu 12.04

Alchemy is a great drawing tool for inspiration.

It provides very unique methods of drawing that embrace chaos and very finely balanced tools & effects – random, collage, scribble, displace, pull-shapes, whistle input – no undo but regular autosave. Alchemy is the ultimate doodler.

Download Alchemy Here ( i got Alchemy-007-tar.gz – for LINUX )

I needed java to run Alchemy.

sudo apt-get install default-jdk

I tried the openjdk-6-jdk but there was an error so I installed default-jdk which worked.


tar -xzvf Alchemy-007.tar.gz

make executable

cd Alchemy

chmod +X Alchemy


and it should work

Configuration: an Acer 5920G; with a Wacom Bamboo Tablet; running Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome Desktop ; Alchemy-007.tar.gz ; java version “1.6.0_27

Neither OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea6 1.12.6) (6b27-1.12.6-1ubuntu0.12.04.2), nor
OpenJDK Server VM (build 20.0-b12, mixed mode) appeared to work with Alchemy.

Alchemy Drawing Software for Inspried Chaos

Sometime the art does not require accuracy.

The more bizzarly ambiguated the surface the more tooth the vivid imagination has to bite on.

Alchemy is that tool – it can draw from whistling – it can random collage – whatever it does it highly out of control.

Yet humans are good at managing chaos – walking is basically controlled falling.

Whatever it is it is total fun. You will draw things that will draw out modes of the unconscious – little fluffy clouds become dragons.


Mypaint Drawing Software : Free Opensource Software on Ubuntu

Mypaint is an excellent drawing application, huge canvas, the interface gets out of the way, lots of great media, pens, brushes, charcoal, etc.

I just ran

sudo apt-get install mypaint

and it installed in seconds :D – I love the ubuntu repos <3

The occasional crash is fine as I save my work all the time and just reopen it.

I have tried drawing with GIMP which is OK but more for Photo editing – so it very good at adjusting lighting in a digital painting – using layers and the dodge and burn tools

Free software is great for teachers and students as you can give away copies with a class.

Krita ran too slow – it looks great just like painter but it runs slow for me and a responsive interface is essentiial.

3 Google Engineers observe consistant hyperspace between languages when dimensionality is reduced by a deep neural net

“How Google Converted Language Translation Into a Problem of Vector Space Mathematics”

“To translate one language into another, find the linear transformation that maps one to the other. Simple, say a team of Google engineers”


Machine TranslationZarjaz ! Spludig vir thrig !

Visualised using t-sne a clustering dimensionality reduction visualisation.

t-sne was developed by students of Geoffrey Hinton’s Colorado Deep Neural Net Group – indeed one of the three authors of the paper Ilya Sutskever studied with Geoffrey Hinton at Colorado and is his partner in a deep neural network startup that was bought up by google almost apon it’s inception.

All Mimsy in the Borogroves.

The full paper at arxiv :

Exploiting Similarities among Languages for Machine Translation

from Arxiv

The code & vectors (word2vec in C) that access this hyperspace for the purposes of translation has been made available by the researchers so you can explore it for yourself. I am sure that many more papers will stem from observations made from this hyper-plane of meaning.

Commented Python Version of word2vec – associated blog announcement
HNews Discussion of word2vec
Example Word2vec App – finds dissimilar word in list.
Python Wrapper & yhat R classifier web interdace for word2vec

2nd paper : Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space – anothe google paper using word2vec vector(”King”) – vector(”Man”) + vector(”Woman”) = vector(“Queen”)

Reduction of the exceedingly large space of all possible letters to a point of view where meaning is a movement common to every language excitingly points back before babel to the Ur-language; the Platonic Forms themselves at least semanticly.

Babelfish Babel Fish from the HitchHickers Guide to the Galaxy

I believe this space is somehow derived from intuitions made about the space defined by the weights of a deep neural network for machine translation of the google corpus of all the web pages and books of humankind.

[this proved correct the vectors are the compact represention from the middle of a deep neural net]

So in a way this is a view of human language from a machine learining to translate human languages.

In other words this deep-neural-net AI is the guy who works in Searle’s Chinese Room translating things he doesn’t understand – has no soul nor realises anything yet his visual translation dictionary appears to reveal the universality of movement that is meaning common to all human languages and discoverable within human cultural output.

Is this an argument for strong AI or weak ?

I think a more biologically inspired analogy is a Corporation. A Business where many desk workers receive and process messages between themselves and the outside world. Few of the workers posses a complete overview of the decision process and those that do are hopelessly out of touch with how anything is really actually achieved. Yet each presses on through self-interest, necessity, hubris and a little alturism generated by related-genetic-self interest tropically seeking the prime directives established in the founding document and more loosly in the unwritten orally transmitted office-culture. Is a Corporation intelligent / self-aware, or even conscious ? Probably not, but it may think of itself as so and act as though it is. So I hold a corporation is to a human mind what a mind is to an individual neuron and thus ‘intelligence’ does not truly exist in any one individual, machine, procedure or rule but is apparent in the whole system just as mind exists in the human brain. But yet I think that does not account for soul and it a not unuseful model of human behaviours that we appear possessed of souls as well as minds.

Hyperbolically, reductio ad absurdum, this implies perhaps that humanity is itself a type of mind = perhaps yet more visible this noosphere now more highly connected as a peer-to-peer internet, web and cellphone connected network. Indeed the interaction of us with the biosphere has a type of mind and so forth that the universe itself is itself predictable as analagous to a thinking being. Is the hubris of this Universal ‘God’ as is our hubris to say ‘I am’ yet made of individual cells.

Paraclecus, Yeats and Benoit Mandelbrot : as above so below; And find Everything in a grain of sand; How long is a coastline depends on how closely one looks.

I would suggest this is the evolution of a machine intelligence.

Certainly looks like The hyperplane of meaning.

In other news Google Translate for Animals ;-)

“Every conscious state has this qualitative feel to it. there’s something it feels like to drink beer and its different from  listening to music or scratch your head or pick your favourite feeling … all of these states has a certain qualitative feel to them.

Now because of that they have a second feature to them namely that they are subjective. They are ontolologically subjective in the sense that they only exist insofar as they are expereienced by a human or animal” – John Serle

Kant’s Transcendantal unity of aperception is Searle’s Unity of Consciousness and perhaps the body, soul and mind are analgous.




#ILoveScience #Verstehen
#ILoveArt #heArt