The experimental web image archive aims at replicating on a small scale the way a human image search engine might work.
- dream, image search results, responsive, search engines, site
- co-creator, visual/interaction designer
- concept, information architecture, information + interaction + visual design, back end + front end development
- Andrea Buran, Eleonora Sovrani
- Fortune Cookie
This archive aims at replicating the way a human image search engine1 might work. As opposed to the typical image search engine, which returns a set of images based on the user’s query, a human image search engine is consciously powered by multiple users, who search and return visual responses to each other2.
For the sake of simplicity and consistency such replication is kept on a small scale, that is, all collaborative efforts collected through this site focus on replying to just one single predefined query word: dream.
Web travelers are invited to fuel the archive by submitting their own visual interpretation in response to the predefined query word/abstract concept dream.
The query word dream was chosen because it is an abstract term and thus susceptible of multiple subjective interpretations3—a problematic case for image search engines, since they can not know beforehand which interpretation the user is looking for.
In the beginning the interface of the archive was designed to work similarly to the one of an ordinary image search engine interface: regretfully, a compromise with copyright law4 on the Internet was required and it was adapted to the current way it works.
After having read that even using a thumbnail counterpart of a copyrighted image in a web page for the mere sake of documenting such resource—like image search engines usually do—could be well enough to be deemed as copyright infringement, it was preferred not to use any thumbnails extracted from the originals.
For the above reason, all the thumbnails of the images collected in the archive are generated by scrambling the pixels of their original counterparts.
The image archive was physically correlated in the installation of the same name set up on occasion of the exhibition Can we please play the internet?.
The goal here is subverting the top-down process typical of standard search engines, transforming it into a bottom-up one. ↩
“Image retrieval for abstract concepts is the search for image content that is not directly present in the image, but needs to be inferred from background knowledge and experience.”
—Ron Besseling in Designing an Image Retrieval Interface for Abstract Concepts Within the Domain of Journalism. ↩
It is a jungle, so watch out for the tigers! ↩