LOOKIN AT A ZEBRA
video HD, colour, sound
On a public square in the middle of Milan people enact different actions, like smiling, jumping and feeding pigeons. While the camera moves slowly from one scene to the next, a computer voice, which appears to be the director, seems to instruct the protagonists.
Unlike in John Smith’s film “The Girl Chewing Gum” (1976), where a human voice seems to instruct the protagonists, the voice-over in “Looking at a Zebra” is generated by Microsoft’s Seeing AI, an app whose algorithm is trained to describe what it sees. In this film, the app – originally designed to narrate the world for the visually impaired – leads us to the question of how predictable we are or want to be.