Machine Learning

Cluster: Fictional Edition

Set of 37 images for digital display

Created for Cluster Festival XI: Digital Edition


I have been a co-director and co-curator of Cluster Festival for the past 11 years. 

Cluster: Fictional Edition is a response to the cancellation of what would have been my final physical festival before handing the organization over to the brilliant Ashley Au.

In this space of absence, I have been thinking about festivals that weren’t. Festivals that might be or might have been. Imaginary spaces in the cracks between festivals. 

The documentation images of Cluster: Fictional Edition were created using machine learning. I trained StyleGAN on over 1400 photos taken between 2010-2019 at various editions of Cluster Festival. StyleGAN learns the features of these photos, and creates a module that is trained to produce infinite new images that occupy the space between the original images. I have spent hours within this stream of images, blurring my eyes a bit, looking for those that feel the most like real performance situations. 

To my eye, this collection of new images perfectly carries the DNA of Cluster. I can trace their component parts: a glittery curtain from Matthew Robin-Nye’s installation at Cluster 2018 becomes the robes of three mysterious performers; the LED lights that featured so heavily in Cluster 2010-2015 create a purple blue glow; ice from Gil Delindro’s installation at Cluster 2014 now covers the floor of a gallery; light stands multiply and become tangled… My memory can already make these pictures. 

This is the Cluster of my dreams.


  • May 2020 at Cluster Festival XI: Digital Edition online