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Venus Of Google: A Statue Designed By Search Engine

Artist Matthew Plummer-Fernandez uses Google search engine algorithms to create a modern day take on the Venus de Milo.

by Kevin Holmes
21 May 2013, 12:16pm

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez's work often reflects the glitchy imperfections of machines and the algorithms that make up their "intelligence"—then making those imperfections manifest by turning them into physical objects. In a recent work entitled Venus of Google the artist uses a search engine to help him compose a generative nod to the classic sculpture, the Venus de Milo. The piece started, like with many things in our lives, with a Google search. 

Using Google the artist searched for an image of a slim rectangular box he aquired during a game of exquisite corpse and then used one of the results, an image of a woman in a body wrap, as the basis for his Venus of Google. Creative Applications Network have an indepth interview with the artist about the piece, but after he found the image he wanted to use he used a similar algorithmic image-comparison technique to shape the design of his 3D-printed statue.

"The 'Hill-Climbing' algorithm starts with a plain box shape and tries thousands of random transformations and comparisons between the shape and the image, eventually mutating towards a form resembling the found image in both shape and colour." says the artist. "I’m interested in this early era of artificial intelligence, computer vision, algorithmic cultural artefacts, and the paradox of technology being both advanced and primitive at the same time."

The hill-climbing algorithm creating 3D meshes

The box meshed with the image of the woman

Venus of Google. 27.2 x 14.9 x 8.0 cm. z-corp powder 3D Print