Five Years of Captured Captchas

Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg
2017

Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas

Five Years of Captured Captchas is a series of five leporello books that span a total length of 90 meters, chronicling every single captcha that we have solved over the course of five years.

At the end of 2011, while discussing the labor involved in such routinely performed tests, we decided to take a screenshot of all the captchas that we would pass. Doing so, we established a diary of our almost daily micro-labor and a stable archive of these ubiqitous techno-visual artifacts.

Throughout the collection, it is possible to retrace the evolution of captchas: initially a technique to merely prevent spam, then a system employed by Google for the ‘philanthropic’ purpose of digitalizing knowledge, later (indirectly) used as a method to improve Street View, and finally a means of teaching image recognition to AI software.

Acknowledging that most of our work was done for Google, Five Years of Captured Captchas is also a quinquennial report that celebrates a fruitful collaboration with the company.

Dimensions (open)

2012: 25 × 2992 cm
2013: 25 × 1936 cm
2014: 25 × 1144 cm
2015: 25 × 1320 cm
2016: 25 × 1672 cm
Total: 25 × 9064 cm

Thanks to the library of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

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Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas
Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg, Five Years of Captured Captchas