Exhibition: Sheung Yiu – How To See Something Where There Is Nothing
Opening: Thursday 24 March 2022 6–8 pm
Itäinen Rantakatu 8
20700 Turku, Finland
If we keep zooming in on a digital image, not before long, we will reach a pixel. A pixel is a block of colour of nothing, a set of RGB values and the resolution limit of a digital optical device. Here is where human vision ends, and the story of seeing something where there is nothing begins.
What is the relation between what we see and what is there? The works in the exhibition observe the evolution of visual technology in conversation with our perception and surroundings. The more technology develops, the more abstract seeing becomes.
Equipped with the phenomenal power of computation, photography and hyperspectral imaging, a group of scientists set out to approach the boundaries of satellite imaging in the forests of Finland. Using meticulous on-site measurements of physical structures and spectral properties of trees, 'ground truth' data are experimental results to verify the performance of predicting models. Their quest is to develop an improved interpretation model of satellite data for remote sensing research, which allows us to distinguish various features of the surface beyond what is shown optically in satellite imagery.
In the exhibition Yiu interweaves archival imagery, documentary photography, experimental data and artistic work, to acquaint the reader with the mathematical models that provide us the tools to 'resurrect' trees from a two-dimensional image. His works highlight the complexity of seeing in the age of algorithms. Our ability to collect and discern data promises the power to resurrect a tree from a pixel. At that moment, do I see a tree? Or, am I seeing something where there is nothing?
Sheung Yiu (HK/FI) is a Hong-Kong-born, image-centered artist and researcher, based in Helsinki. His artwork explores the act of seeing through algorithmic models and sense-making through networks of images. His research interests concern the increasing complexity and agency of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in contemporary digital culture. He looks at photography through the lens of new media, scales, and network thinking.
Adopting multi-disciplinary collaboration as a mode of research, his works examine the poetics and politics of CGI, such as computer vision, computer graphics, and remote sensing, to understand how to see something where there is nothing, how to digitize light and how vision becomes predictions. Yiu's work takes the form of photography, videos, photo-objects, exhibition installations, and bookmaking. Yiu is a doctoral candidate in Photography at Aalto University.