Myriad (Tulips) (2018)

Myriad (Tulips) is an installation of thousands of hand-labeled photographs of tulips; these photographs were later used as the dataset for Mosaic Virus 2018 and Mosaic Virus 2019. By choosing to make the dataset an artwork it draws attention to the skill, labour and time that goes into constructing it, whilst also helping to expose the human element in machine learning, usually hidden by algorithmic processes.
Each piece of technology has its own associations and connotations: Myriad (Tulips) is surfacing some of these. I took ten thousand, or a myriad, of photographs of tulips over the course of three months whilst on residency in the Netherlands. The subject matter of tulips was deliberate, allowing me to make connections between speculation and value through tulipmania in the subsequent Mosaic VIrus pieces but also drawing in the history of flowers in machine learning datasets.
(Text by Anna Ridler)