NO MORE WHITE ROBOTS
The Black Euphoria Project is an attempt to illustrate a visual representation of Blackness with Machine Learning algorithms.
While working in Runway ML and VQGAN+ Clip, I noticed that Black people and iconography were pretty much non-existent. To get a Black face, I explicitly had to specify, BLACK, which produced limited and disappointing results. Often, these models reflect the people who create them, many of whom are white and cisgender men.
In our world, the default is white, and anti-blackness is its counterpart. Is it possible to create a model on Blackness using a structure that was most likely not designed nor trained to see Blackness?
In a world where 'being white' is the default, how do I help a computer dream Blackness - from a Black perspective. Can Blackness exist outside of being an antithesis to whiteness, and if so, what does it look like?
To create the data set, I asked several of my friends: What makes you feel the most euphoric? What does your Blackness feel like to you? My friends responded with images and videos that I then used to train the model.
The responses spanned from photos of hometowns to videos of friends, album covers, and even open computer tabs.
I presented the first version of the Black Euphoria model in November 2020; at Lightbox Gallery for Creative Code Art. This project is constantly evolving and is currently in a - beta - phase.