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Rapid and exciting developments in imaging technologies are providing new possibilities for creating and conveying visual content. The definition, measurement and modelling of visual image quality is a vibrant area of scientific research that crosses over with the creation of visual aesthetics. But, as philosophy reminds us, the aesthetic properties are not objectively defined. In much of philosophy and art, aesthetic values are seen as both social and subjective, yet not quantifiable or amenable to concept-based scientific modelling. Software that analyses images on aesthetic grounds nevertheless features in the new generations of digital cameras, image editing and content selection tools on the Internet.

This one-day conference will explore and challenge scientific approaches to the judgement of subjective image quality. It will discuss existing and potential new methods of defining image quality and image aesthetics through measurement as well as computational means. It will examine the crossovers and exchanges between philosophical aesthetics, political and social art practices, as well as artistic production, and a new generation of computational aesthetics. What are the implications of computer algorithms or artificial intelligence tools that judge the aesthetic success or failure of an image? How computational approaches cope with aesthetic innovation, cultural discourse and critical art practice? The conference will consider issues and questions such as these by bringing together academics, artists, students and professionals working in imaging or with images in artistic and scientific fields, with a view to fostering the exchange of knowledge and ideas in the field of art/science aesthetics.

The conference is organized by the Computational Vision and Imaging Technologies Research Group (School of Computer Science), the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM, Westminster School of Arts) of the University of Westminster, the Rochester Institute of Technology, USA, in collaboration with the IET’s Vision and Imaging Network and the Imaging Science Group of the Royal Photographic Society.

Who is it for?

This event is aimed at scholars, artists, and individuals or groups working in the fields of image science and engineering, visual arts, visual science, design, computer vision, interactive media, data visualization and critical theory and philosophy. The symposium will identify key critical debates and draw together diverse stakeholders from the industry, academia, and the art world.

Programme committee

  • Conference Co-Chair: Dr Sophie Triantaphillidou, School of Computer Science
  • Conference Co-Chair: Dr Eugenie Shinkle, Westminster School of Arts
  • Dr Liz Allen, member, Westminster School of Arts
  • Dr Susan Farnand, member, Rochester Institute of Technology, Program of Color Science
  • Ed Fry, member, member, PhD student, School of Computer Science
  • Dr Aleka Psarrou, member, School of Computer Science
  • Professor Neal White, member, Westminster School of Arts

Conference programme

8.45: Coffee and registration

9.15: Peter Bonfield, Vice Chancellor, University of Westminster, UK 

  • Introduction to the Transactions Imaging/Art/Science symposium

9.30: Plenary 1 (Introduction - Sophie Triantaphillidou)  Claus-Christian Carbon, University of Bamberg, Germany

  • What do we like? About art, design and kitsch

10.15: Break

10.30: Session 1: Media Ecologies (Chair Neal White)

  • Kimberly Glassman, University of Oxford, UK   :   What are you looking at? The neuropsychology of vision explored through the paintings of Robert Pepperell
  • Bernd Behr, Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, Uk   :  The Paranoaic-Critical Method of Reflectance Transformation Imaging
  • Lindsay MacDonald, University College London, UK  :  The aesthetics of 3D imaging

11.45: Break

12.00: Session 2: Computation, AI and Aesthetics (Chair Aleka Psarrou)

  • Michal Kucer and David Messinger, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA  :  Representation learning of aesthetic ranking functions
  • Mehul Bhatt, Örebro University, Sweden  :  The shape of the moving image: Perception and interpretation from the perspective of spatial cognition and Artificial Intelligence

12.50: Lunch break

1.45: Session 3: Evaluating ‘Quality’ - Subjective and Objective (Chair Liz Allen)

  • Susan Farnand, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA  :  Evaluating colour quality of smartphone images
  • Sophie Triantaphillidou, Ed Fry and Oliver van Zwanenberg, University of Westminster, UK  :  Objective image quality assessments using pictures
  • Alessandro Rizzi and Alice Plutino, University of Milan, Italy  :  Designing a cockpit for image quality evaluation

3.00: Break

3.15: Session 4: Artists and Algorithms (Chair: Susan Farnand)

  • George Hinks, Independent Artist, UK  :  Four transformations: A physical materialisation of infrared radiation via photogrammetric fused heat signatures
  • Chris Brownrigg, Independent Artist and David Brownrigg, Goldsmiths University of London, UK  :  Abstraction using mixed global transforms: Art and aids to art
  • Carinna Paraman and Susanne Klein FInstP, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK  :  RTI for RGB: Photographing mica based inks on black paper using Reflectance Transform Imaging

4.30: Break

4.45: Plenary 2 (Intro Eugenie Shinkle)

  • Silvia Casini, University of Aberdeen, UK  :  Opening up the black box of data visualisation in biomedical imaging

5.30: Symposium closing - Sophie Triantaphillidou/Eugenie Shinkle


Register for this conference on Eventbrite.

Registration is free for speakers.


309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW


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