INCUBATING DALÍ’S EGGS: A Visual Recognition Technology Project (2017)

This summer (2017), I spent some days around the surroundings and environment where Salvador Dalí used to live. More precisely, I was staying in Aiguablava (Catalonia, Spain), one of my favourite spots in the world. I decided to do a funny and unpretentious summer project. What if I used Artificial Intelligence Visual Recognition Technology to discover the things that surrounded me (and thus Dalí)? The algorithm would provide me with a text description of the scenes and objects that I would shoot with the camera of my phone. The idea was to paint what the machine was describing to me on EGGS, one of the fetish objects from Dalí’s surrealist work. Then I would make omelettes with them.




Computer vision is an interdisciplinary field that deals with how computers can be made for gaining high-level understanding from digital images or videos. From the perspective of engineering, it seeks to automate tasks that the human visual system can do. Computer vision tasks include methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding digital images, and extraction of high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information, e.g., in the forms of decisions. Understanding in this context means the transformation of visual images (the input of the retina) into descriptions of the world that can interface with other thought processes and elicit appropriate action. This image understanding can be seen as the disentangling of symbolic information from image data using models constructed with the aid of geometry, physics, statistics, and learning theory. As a scientific discipline, computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images.

The objective was to experiment with the state of the art of some of the Artificial Intelligence Visual Recognition technologies and in the way of doing so, also make an artistic exploration of the themes, objects and scenes from Salvador Dalí’s work
The project would have 3 parts:

1. I would shoot a picture with my phone (The Scene),
2. Run it through the Visual Recognition algorithm (What the algorithm described),
3. Paint the description on an egg (The Egg).


A TRIBUTE: A portrait by Joan Marc-Mitjà at “Salvador Dalí’s Hut“.


© Albert Barqué-Duran. 2018. All rights reserved.