Soul by Diptych

Glass Arctic. Photos: Bill Ross; Combination:

I have built a web page for introspection, that shows diptychs from a database of 15k photos by five photographers, using descriptions, color analysis, and curation to formulate the pairs (total possible pairs: 118M; click on a photo to see another pair). My notion is that the pairs are like electrodes, lighting up the places they connect in the brain. One goal is to build a nonverbally communicative intelligence, a lion or witch in the wardrobe, that you might become mutually acquainted with as a child, and which would grow with you as your agent to deal with the world. For now, your choices and timing vary the selection in a general way, like throwing a stone into a pond, in the hope of creating a unique experience in the moment.

In the default mode (Browse), you click on one of a pair of photos, and another pair associated with that pair appears (click on left photo, and it associates pairs based on keywords, click on the right and it uses color data as well). In Search mode, options appear for associating pairs based on either color, description, or random selection. Browse mode shows my favorite 15% of pairs seen in Search mode.

The latest Search options are based on applying the Golden Angle to the coordinates of the photos in color spaces of various dimensions (2D, 3D, 8D, 27D, and 32K D). E.g. dividing the RGB cube into 32x32x32 bins, make a histogram for each photo, and treat it as a point in 32-cubed-dimensional space, calculating angles and distances.

The description-based Search option provides a higher-level kind of association, the result of a long process of developing meaningful keywords, starting from two people’s versions.

Which keywords and/or color function were used in the pairing is shown when clicking in the space next to the options.

The pairs can also be seen as instances of Platonic properties, and an understanding of the brain’s formulation of such properties is a deeper goal of the project.

Angle distributions in 24-bit Lab ab space,