Adam Harvey

Rapid Response Fellow 2020 - 2020

Adam Harvey is a researcher and artist based in Berlin focused on computer vision, privacy, and data politics. He is a graduate of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University (2010) and previously studied engineering and photojournalism at the Pennsylvania State University. Previous projects on surveillance include CV Dazzle (camouflage from face recognition), the Anti-Drone Burqa (camouflage from thermal cameras), SkyLift (geolocation spoofing device), and MegaPixels (interrogating face recognition datasets). His work has been featured widely in media publications including the New York Times, Financial Times, and Washington Post; and shown at internationally acclaimed institutions and events including V&A museum (UK), Seoul Mediacity Biennale (KR), Istanbul Design Biennale (TK), Frankfurter Kunstverien (DE), and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (US). Harvey is currently working on VFRAME, a project to provide computer vision tools for human rights researchers and investigative journalists; and MegaPixels, a project investigating face recognition training data.

What do you plan to do during Phase 1 of Rapid Response?

During Phase 1 I will develop 2 prototypes for the VFRAME computer vision project. VFRAME is a project that aims to develop customized computer vision tools for human rights researchers and investigative journalists. The general concept is that both prototypes will address the current conflicts in the United States around police accountability by exploring new techniques for improving crowdsourced forensic analysis. The first prototype will address the need for researchers to analyze large volumes of data for specific objects using object detection algorithms. The second prototype will explore logo recognition to help journalists correctly identify and provide context for logos used in protests. A portion of phase 1 will also be used to research the ethical considerations of this work and for community outreach to research teams for software testing and feedback.

How does your work relate to the theme of the open call?

A better future involves technology more in alignment with humanity. My contribution to the Rapid Response For A Better Digital Future includes developing computer vision tools for use in investigatory journalism that aligns with public interest. For example, customized computer vision tools that facilitate investigations on police accountability, or algorithms that can help researchers identify specific logos or icons.

What does the future look like to you?

The future looks challenging and complex.

What is your grounding ethos?

My ethos is developing artful functionality that challenge power asymmetries and the status quo.