Archaeology Through Machine Eyes

A collaboration with Egor Chemokhonenko

2019

GAN-generated images, single channel video, 05:40

How does archaeology look like through the eyes of a machine? Archaeology has played an important role in reinforcing and subverting the narratives upon which dominant power is built. Cyprus is promoted as the island of Aphrodite and a lot of the official archaeological narrative focuses on objects of Hellenic and Roman times. However, Cyprus has been a culturally diverse island since prehistoric times.

For this video, over 2000 images of Cypriot sculptures of all styles and time periods were fed to a machine learning system of Generative Adversarial Networks. These systems learned to generate images of sculptures based on the input data, but also created entirely new sculptural figures of hybrid and unique styles – presenting an archaeological narrative from a machine point of view.