An Introduction to Image Datasets

A grid composed of dozens of faces

An Introduction to Image Datasets


An introductory video essay to Data / Set / Match, a year-long programme seeking new ways to present, visualise and interrogate visual datasets.

Data / Set / Match is a year-long programme of commissions and events exploring visual datasets.

Technologists working with machine vision and artificial intelligence rely on the production and annotation of massive collections of photographs. These datasets are used to train machines to ‘see’ and understand the world. Departing from traditional taxonomies used to organise and store images, the programme will look at the effects of these systems, and how new categorisations increasingly influence the way humans and machines understand the world today.

A big screen, half of it with a black background and the text "From standard image datasets of millions of photographs." and the other half a white background with a photograph of two parrots

Over the course of 12 months, Data/Set/Match aims to draw attention to these datasets and explore their creation, influence and uses. At the same time, the programme will connect the image dataset to historical photographic discourses of the archive, truth and power.