During a artist in residence program Nouf Aljowaysir started to trace the migrational patterns of her Saudi and Iraqi ancestors and "re-imagining the past using Generative AI models."(1)
Experimenting with object recognition she realized how AI generalized how she and her ancestors are seen. For example images of her bedouin ancestors wearing traditional clothes were recognized as soldiers and to wear military uniforms.
"I discovered that my collection of stories were being erased and stereotyped as one big pile of “Middle East”"(1)
In the artwork Salaf she takes the failures of AI to recognize expressions of local cultures as an starting point to critique the "frustrations I felt in the Western colonial gaze".(1)
For the artwork she created a dataset from her historical archive and using a image segmentation tool she erased all the ‘oriental’ stereotypical figures creating white silhouettes instead of depicting the individuals in the images. The dataset is then used to train a generative AI model, "outputting images signifying the eradication of her ancestor’s collective memory." (1)