Collegium Helveticum
Film screening

Working in Progress or First Cut


Venue: Kino Toni, Zurich University of the Arts

The film screening and discussion are open to the public. Participation is free of charge and registration is not required.

Between 2018 and 2024, a symbiotic relationship unfolded between remote crowd workers, technological experts, and practitioners in the realms of arts and digital humanities, all tethered to the vast imagery of computer vision training datasets. Used to train artificial intelligence, these images are the backstage content of social media algorithms, facial recognition tools, autonomous vehicles, drone vision etc. The work-in-progress film Acapulco is akin to a beach, composed of countless grains of sand that symbolize various perspectives.

The film screening will be preceded by a talk by Curator and Professor Joanna Zylinska (Media Philosophy and Critical Digital Practice, King’s College London, UK) on her research in the field of digital technologies and new media, including her new book The Perception Machine Our Photographic Future between the Eye and AI (MIT Press).

With Acapulco, Bruno Moreschi created a feature film that is an opportunity to finally look carefully at and immerse ourselves in datasets with millions of images that are difficult to understand at first glance. Seeing these images that train machines in cinema is also transforming them.

Employing methodologies rooted in critical pedagogy, Moreschi crafted an immersive experience for the β€œseers” who participate in the film. Leading experts from around the world received printed postcards by mail featuring some of these images, while crowd workers who tag these images participated in several experimental reading and conversation sessions. The culmination is a visual odyssey that invites speculation on novel approaches to image comprehension, advocating for a paradigm shift in computer training methods towards more nuanced, human-centric perspectives.

The film was edited and co-directed by Brazilian artist Pedro Gallego. The soundtrack is by Carla Boregas, a Brazilian artist living in Berlin.

Acapulco navigates a plethora of themes, such as the many stages of machine learning, precarious online work to label images, the proliferation of deep fakes, and the historical practices that predate AI but help us understand its less evident logics.

To discuss these and other topics related to AI/computer vision more in-depth, the screening will be followed by a conversation.


Bruno Moreschi
Early-career fellow
Collegium Helveticum, CH

Joanna Zylinska
Professor of Media Philosophy and Critical Digital Practice
King’s College London, UK

Eva Cetinic
Senior researcher at the Institute of Art History
University of Zurich, CH

Felix Stalder
Professor at the Department Fine Arts
Zurich University of the Arts, CH
Associate fellow
Collegium Helveticum, CH

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