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Humanist Archives: Nov. 28, 2018, 6:28 a.m. Humanist 32.233 - events: computational spectatorship

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 233.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2018-11-27 11:29:01+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: Daniel Chavez Heras, 'Seen by Machine: Computational Spectatorship and the BBC Archive'

 > From: 	Zhu, Feng 

Daniel Chavez Heras (King’s College London) will give a talk entitled 
'Seen by Machine: Computational Spectatorship and the BBC Archive'on 
Thur 6 December 2018, 6pm-8pm in Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 BH(S) 4.04.

Please register at: 

Blog entry: 


Film and television makers have been using computers in their practice 
for almost as long as computers have been around. Recently, they have 
incorporated machine learning techniques as creative tools in their 
craft. Creative machine learning holds the promise of the automation of 
the production and reproduction of visual culture, and this type of 
automated image-making presents to its audiences confounding pictures of 
authorship, authenticity and value. However, looking beyond the hype and 
the many misleading headlines about “creative machines”, there are 
powerful social and economic forces that have drawn artists and creators 
of all kinds to have an interest in machine learning.

Daniel Chavez Heras (King’s College London) collaborated with a small 
team of technologists at BBC R&D to create a system that generates 
sequences out of archive footage using machine learning. The results of 
these experiments were edited into the television programme Made by 
Machine: When AI met the Archive, which is now the first time machine 
learning has been used in this way to produce prime-time content for 
television. Through this example, Daniel will discuss the idea of 
audio-visual archives as “cultural big data”, and their automatic 
browsing as an instance of /computational spectatorship/: a way to 
understand how our visual regimes are increasingly mediated by 

Daniel has been working with pictures and computers, in various 
capacities, for more than ten years. He trained as a designer in Mexico 
and has worked in creative roles in print media and television before 
joining the British Council as a digital manager, where he was 
responsible for the digital portfolio of the organisation’s operation in 
Mexico. In 2010 he was awarded a Jumex fellowship for the study of 
contemporary art, and he has since been awarded a Fulbright scholarship 
twice, although he ended up declining both times to come to study in the 
UK: first for an MA in Film Studies at King’s College London, and 
currently at the Department of Digital Humanities, also at King’s, where 
he is trying to teach computers to watch films for his PhD. Daniel is 
funded by Mexico’s Ministry of Education through its Science and 
Technology Research Council (CONACYT); he has published in English and 
Spanish in international peer-reviewed journals on films & computers, on 
videogames & art history, and has taught university courses, in both 
Mexico and the UK, on visual narrative, digital aesthetics, and most 
recently on the politics of online networks and social media. Daniel has 
also made a few personal short films (one of which was screened in the 
official selection at the UNAM International Film Festival in 2013).

This event is part of an ongoing seminar series on “critical inquiry 
with and about the digital” hosted by the Department of Digital 
Humanities, King’s College London.

Dr. Feng Zhu
Teaching Fellow in Digital Media and Culture
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London
Room C0.07, Chesham Building
London, WC2R 2LS

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Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

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