Public Art

Building the street art genealogy

Tools to analyze and compare images, focused around discovering, understanding and documenting street art.

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The Public Art project seeks to preserve and better understand street art through the application of machine learning techniques.

Modern machine learning tools have made it possible to analyze and manipulate large datasets. This has especially improved how images can be queried and searched.

Using techniques that were previously only available in academia or private industry, Public Art hopes to use digital archiving practices to better understand street art on a large scale. Public datasets in the form of social media and user generated content provide enormous image repositories that make this possible.

Below are six practical aims for applying these techniques.

1. Recognize artists

Publicly labeled street art can be used to identify who painted a photographed mural.

2. Track influences

Analyzing images around the world can help track where certain styles emerge and how they are adopted.

3. Geolocalize images

Images without any metadata can be correlated to geographic data based on visual landmarks.

4. Categorize styles

Computer vision encoding techniques can extract image features and generate visually objective categories.

5. Correlate social phenomena

The content or subject of street art murals and tags embody social phenomena in an impermanent medium. Digital documentation can provide a retroactive look at these historical moments.

6. Find new art

Monitoring newly posted images online can help detect when a new painting has been photographed in an area.


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Street Art Lovers

Do you see street art as more than just urban art?

Machine Learning Engineers

Are you interested in using machine learning for creative expression?

Art Historians

Have you used software or technology to analyze historical context of art or literature?

Digital Humanities Researchers

Reach out if you are doing anything in the digital humanities!

Urban Planners and Activists

Do you get excited about quantitative urban data?

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Want to know more about street art and machine learning? Enter your email to receive pleasantly infrequent updates.