Karilynn Ming Ho’s alluring installation Mirror Flower, Water Moon utilizes deceptive technologies. The work is derived from universal adversarial perturbations (UAPs), textures and algorithmic vectors meant to disarm, confuse, and deceive artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) from self-driving cars to robot cashiers is predicated on being intelligent enough to identify, with 85–100 percent accuracy, an object or image that is placed in front of it. However, when these disarming patterns and algorithms are placed in front of the object or image, it causes the AI system to misrecognize what it is looking at.

In this case, the UAP pattern is obscuring a particular species of orchids whose reproductive success is based on its own deceptive behaviour. The orchids mimic female pollinators, such as bees and wasps, through visual or chemical means to attract male pollinators to help them reproduce. The images on display encounter tactics and technologies that deceive, connecting natural and digital actions just beyond the reach of human perception. The title, Mirror Flower, Water Moon, is from a Chinese proverb that speaks to something that can only be seen, but not grasped—like a flower in a mirror or the reflection of the moon in the water.

This installation is an extension to a thematic thread found in For the Left Hand Alone, a solo exhibition by Ming Ho at the Richmond Art Gallery through to May 27.

Presented in partnership with
Canada Line Public Art Program—InTransit BC

Aberdeen Station is curated by
Richmond Art Gallery in partnership with Richmond Public Art Program

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