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Concept and photography:
Research and essay:
Finnish Forest Museum (LUSTO)
Finnish National Gallery Kiasma
Lithography and production:
Wilco Art Books (NL)
Frame Contemporary Art Finland
What is the relation between what we see and what is there? Ground Truth observes 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 Ground Truth, Sheung Yiu (HK/FI) 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. Ground Truth highlights the complexity of seeing in the age of algorithms. What do we see when we are not around? What can we see when there is nothing there?
Sheung Yiu is a Hong Kong-born, image-centred artist and researcher based in Helsinki. His artwork explores the act of seeing through algorithmic image systems. He looks at photography through the lens of new media, scale, and network thinking; He ponders how the posthuman cyborg vision and the technology that produces it are transforming the way we see and gain knowledge. His work takes the form of photography, videos, photo objects, exhibition installations and photo books.
“The pacing of Ground Truth feels not unlike flicking through a scientist’s notebook; a window into the complex workflow of data collection. Ground Truth, whilst not making anyone an expert, gives a unique insight into this esoteric field of science. It also constructs a narrative which sits outside the slipstream of technological fear and angst – giving a refreshing perspective on human/machine cooperation.” (Sam McGovern)