The web-based project, “Witnessing,” was designed by Jo Shin, Frederico Machuca and Xavier Wu as a final research-creation project in Dr. Gabriela Aceves Sepulveda’s SIAT New Media graduate seminar. Dr. Hannah Turner, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kate Hennessy’s Making Culture Lab, curated and led the development of several iterations of the project.

“Witnessing” consists of three individual web-based projects, a collective low-fi analog zine and a catalog that responded to the recent exhibit, “Witness” at the New Media Gallery curated by Sarah Joyce and Gordon Duggan that addressed questions of machine-human communication, power, and surveillance. “Human Memory Database,” by Frederico Machuca, presents an ominous interactive future database of human memories. Jo Shin’s project, “You.got.a.pic?” draws upon themes of immediacy in a hyper-mediated world. When sent selfie images, the AI responds to an email with modified machine vision: a distorted view of the original selfie. Xavier Wu’s project, Sentinel 002, imagines an AI capable of recording and learning from human language through Twitter feeds.

An installation version of “Witnessing” was shown at the AHVA Gallery at the Audain Art Centre as part of the recent symposium “Under Super Vision” in the Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). A web-based version will appear in Immediacy, an online media journal published by The New School of Media of Studies, New York.

Witnessing Zine