Preface: The Teenie Harris Archive is a collection of photographs currently held by the CMOA from a photographer Teenie Harris who captured African-American lifestyle in Pittsburgh during the 1930s through 1980s. His work is one of the most comprehensives lenses we have to view African-American life during that time period in America.

So as I’ve been working on computationally analyzing the Teenie Harris Archive, I’ve realized that my artistic practice lies more in the realm of the artifact. My main interest is information visualization, but not in the way of conveying data and ideas to other people, but in the imagery and aesthetics of data to the computer. The images below are just a few of the artifacts produced through my analysis of the archive, but they are a far cry from what we usually think of when we talk about data visualization. However these images below are what the data looks like. So my final project is going to be the creation of another artifact: 8 bit image tags. Actually, it’d be somewhat like QR codes for photos. The way i see it, Each pixel has 6 dimensions (row, column, red, green, blue, and alpha), Each of those dimensions can be used to represent a feature of the data, and multiple pixels can be used to represent the multiple features that the photo is comprised of.

Features that might be used

  • Faces (Number of them, male or female, approximate age, position in photo)
  • Line of best fit (number of them, rho, theta, sum of squared residuals)
  • Hough Lines (see above)
  • Tags by Microsoft API (tag, confidence of tag, location of tag in photo)
  • Classification of Courier vs. Non-Courier
  • Edge Detection results
  • Fourier Transform results
  • More will be considered but the end result could result in new methods of searching, sorting, or storing this information. Hopefully leading to a fuller understanding of the data.






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