Finding Pictures in the Sky: Machinic visions of cloudscapes

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


This paper is an inquiry into the study of machine vision and its modes of perception in the context of environment and in confrontation with forms found within nature in what I term as machinic landscapes. I focus on the specific element of clouds and the rendering of cloudscapes through technologies of machine vision by artists, Daniel Lefcourt, Shinseungback Kimyonghun and the collaborative group, Forensic Architecture. The works of these artists are explored as a contribution to the question of aesthetics of the Anthropocene and a critical inquiry into the forms of visualization made possible of planetary environments through forms of machine vision such as 3D spatial mapping, automated recognitions algorithms and computational imagery. Drawing on discourse of landscape theory found within the field of Art History this inquiry explores the works of different artists who utilize different forms of machine vision applied to the elusive and fractal form of the cloud. This inquiry dissects the often–invisible layers of representation that are found and through processes of machine vision, opening up an inquiry into the logic of the machine and its engagement with landscape. The result is an inquiry into how machine vision provides an extended level of what I call tertiary representations, made visible through artworks and is generative of producing a new aesthetic form, which increasingly directs the way we see, know and engage with our environment.
Landscape, aesthetics, machine vision, Anthropocene, non-human, contemporary art, representation
Period15. Sep 202117. Sep 2021
Held atPolitics of the Machine
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Landscape
  • aesthetics
  • machine vision
  • Anthropocene
  • non-human
  • contemporary art
  • Representation