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198. Jack Latham

Artist

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Jack Latham is a British artist

Episode 198: This is the second conversation that I have had the luck to conduct with artist Jack Latham about his complex work. I am a huge fan of both the new work Latent Bloom as well as his past projects which we covered in Episode 66.

I saw Jack in person in September 2020 for the Image Festival Vevey. Jack had received the Heidi.news prize for his project Beggar’s Honey, which manifested as the first chapter of the project entitled Latent Bloom. It is a project that explores photographs of flowers that Latham acquired during the lockdown, which were fed to a deep-learning algorithm that used the images to composite and re-imagine the flowers based on what it considered the user’s predilections to favor. It crafted new glitch-oriented images that melt and re-compose and though abstract, feel entirely plausible. Jack’s decision to feed the algorithm allowed a certain control that suggests wider implications for how our online data is stored, composed, and fed back to us posing questions about how artificial intelligence may be thwarted or re-negotiated by human delivery of data.

The second part of the project also worked with text. Latham took the same ideas regarding the floral studies and re-worked historical photographic texts by feeding similar texts by photographic critics into a deep-learning program which then re-arranged and re-constituted the text producing a new, and uncanny surplus of texts which though strange and somewhat jarring can be considered oddly close to the originals in passages. Given the burgeoning adeptness of these algorithms, one can suggest that in the future, the synthesis between the production of human text and machine text will be considered equal value. We discussed the wider implication of journalism. Newsrooms are already adapting this model for our news cycle which is at times both exciting and fascinating.

An example of some of the text in its reductive form is outlined below. Please note that many of the texts in the book follow a much closer pattern to texts found in historical books like Sontag and Barthes tracts.

A FLOWER IS A VARIETY. IT IS A VARIETY OF A SENTIMENT. It is a VARIETY OF A STORY. It is a VARIETY OF A LANGUAGE. It is a VARIETY OF A FASHION. It is a VARIETY OF A TIME. It is a VARIETY OF A FASHION. It is a VARIETY OF A WINDOW. It is a VARIETY OF A WINDOW. It is a VARIETY OF A WINDOW. It is a GIFT. It is a GIFT. It is a GIFT. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a TAPE. It is a TAPE. It is a TAPE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PHOTOGRAPH. It is a PICTURE. It is a PHOTOGRAPH. It is a PICTURE. It is a TAPE. It is a TAPE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. IT is a PICTURE. IT is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE. IT is a PICTURE. It is a PICTURE.

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Credits

Music: Algiers, with their full permission

Photograph Credits: Jack Latham
Editing: Adam Mead
Producer: Lucas Callaghan
Executive Producer: Brad Feuerhelm

Rights are reserved to Nearest Truth. No copies of this content is permitted without express permission from Brad Feuerhelm.

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