Jake Elwes

Jake Elwes
Jake Elwes, CUSP, 2019. Installation view. Sarvisalo, Finland. Courtesy of the Zabludowicz Collection and the artist. Photo: Ollie Harrop
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In CUSP (2019) Jake Elwes reframes a familiar childhood location on the Essex marshes in the east of England by filming images created by a neural network (GAN* ) projected into the tidal landscape. CUSP explores the intersection between nature and machine and the interplay between two realities: one generated by human perception and experience, the other generated by artificial intelligence.

To make the film, Elwes trained a computer on a photographic dataset of marsh-dwelling birds. The machine learned the embedded qualities of different marsh birds, in the process revealing forms that fluctuate between species, with unanticipated variations emerging without reference to human systems of classification. Elwes actively selected a series of images from among those conceived by the neural network, then combined these into a single animation that migrates from bird to bird, accompanied by a soundscape of artificially generated birdsong. The final work records these generated forms as they are projected, using a portable Perspex screen, across the mudflats in Landermere Creek. The work both augments and disrupts the natural ecology of the location, as flocks of native birds enter a visual dialogue with these artificial ones.

was commissioned for a Zabludowicz Collection Invites exhibition and was first shown in London in spring 2019.

Exhibiting Artists