Installation view at Digital Native exhibition, curated by Nina Kintsurashvili
The Status of Pietà is a video-sound art collaboration between Nima Bahrehmand and Ramin Roshandel; it examines the notion of machine vision in the context of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. On one level, across the region, networks of decentralized wars have ebbed and flowed, determining what the region should and can be. On the other hand, the lives of its people are under surveillance 24/7 by mechanical eyes - drones and satellites - that capture them from a distance. So, how can a Machine/AI read, process, and represent the shattered and repressed bodies and lives of people in the middle east? In this project, images of the Syrian war were imported into a pre-trained AI called BigBiGAN. The machine then generated similar images based on the given input, in which war victims embraced other human beings as they fled the bombing. The machine vision outcome is a collection of abstract and pixelated images with a low-frequency movement, seen through the eyes of the machine.