Tiny Datasets, 2022
Series of 6 Digital Prints, 17″ x 20″
Series of 6 Animations
The Tiny Dataset series is an expression of the Athena Dataset. This artist-made dataset was created by following one rule: “Make a dancing star using one octagon and eight triangles.” The UVM Art + AI Research Group created a genetic algorithm that automated this rule. The model performed best (i.e., created designs most similar to its human counterpart) when provided a tiny dataset of under 12 shapes, all derivative of the original human-artist-made Dancing Star. It performed poorly when given thousands of shapes from hundreds of Dancing Stars. The intimacy of a tiny dataset approach is in contrast with big data and its tendency to produce homogenized results; the Tiny Dataset series celebrates its local, limited, situated, chaotic, and precise results in alliance with Donna Haraway’s critique of The God Trick.