This text is a catalogue of outputs derived from a speculative investigation into machine vision systems. In this investigation, an image synthesising AI (Stable Diffusion V2) was used to explore the word-image associations surrounding these technologies, and, in so doing, construct a map of their wider cultural imaginaries.

This text concludes with an additional, speculative gesture, in which the generated images are parsed through a poetic machine vision algorithm of the author’s own design, using the analysed data to rearticulate contemporary academic meditations on the nature, significance, and potentials of generative AI more broadly.


The formal outcome of this investigation was an article mixing theory, experiment, and creative practice for a special issue of OLH, “Cultural Representations of Machine Vision”: Carter, R., (2023) “Machine Visions: Mapping Depictions of Machine Vision through Critical Image Synthesis”. Open Library of Humanities 9(2). DOI:


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