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August 26, 2007

Definitely the most significant reappraisal of image creation value has arrived. Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir have published this paper describing a process to ‘retarget’ images for viewing contexts. But, by doing this, they’ve uncovered something about the properties of an image that has never been seen: Seams of Meaningless.

By filtering the image to see energy maps, the software ‘optimises’ the ‘content’ to remove or expand apon intent. This approach was conceived as a way to avoid the scale/crop approach to remove unnecessary information in an image.

Watch the above Youtube video for full details and application examples.

If this ever gets released, our perception of images will never be the same again. For a start, the shared experience of an image vanishes outside perfectly mapped geo-temporal contexts. Further, our semantic relationship to information exponentially expands – every image becomes a catalyst of singularities – a far cry from any notion that an image ‘can be read’.

This Seam Carving brings not a new dimension to image making, but a distinction of re-co-ordinating information – Polyphonic Targeting. Compositions will be considered inspiring for manipulation not a destination for knowledge transfer. Editing will be acute to use. Publishing will be Rejection because the release of information will be accepted as a juncture of simulacra not simulation. Meaning becomes Indifference.

And it’ll play havoc with Photosynth. Mwahaah!

We should consider how this innovation could be received commercial. Betting that patients are being written; what we have here is an approach – a grammar in information design. The principles are in the open – these cant be guarded of with IP laws. Absurd as this sounds, the future looks more Open and Meaningless than ever before.

More details about ‘Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing’ here: http://www.faculty.idc.ac.il/arik/

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