Christophe Bruno

15 August 2007


In times of insecurity there is the call for better control, assuming that more control will deliver better security. We have seen a whole economy emerging in the last years that is built on the economy of fear. It has invaded all domains of our lives; sometimes we are aware of it, and others it is invisible to us.

All of our actions are nowadays monitored and analysed by the latest technologies in image recognition, pattern recognition, text recognition, etc. The Internet as a global network of interconnected computers with millions of users, is one of the media that is more and more monitored by these technologies.

Logo.Hallucination is a project by French artist Christophe Bruno, that reflects on this tendency of increasing control and the technologies used for it. The project focuses on image recognition and patterns.

As image recognition is still a very difficult faculty and often leads to very unclear conclusions, it is questionable what the outcome of these image interpretations mean, specifically when used as a control technology that can have a big impact in a legal sense or in the sense of personal consequences for citizens.

Logo.Hallucination proposes to use technologies of image recognition in order to detect subliminal forms of logos or emblems, hidden in the visual environment or in the totality of Internet images

The found results of the image recognition software are accessible in a web log, showing comparisons between the original, on the one hand, and brands and its logos, on the other.

The results of the image recognition requests show us striking results, not necessarily committed to proving the misuse or abuse of brand logos and images, as originally intended by the software.

On the contrary, the results are so unexpected and often funny, that one might ask where the logo of a brand or company has been derived from in the first place (after it has been copyrighted as a unique logo by the company).

For his project, Christophe Bruno takes logos of famous brands (Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, Coca-Cola.) and then searches the Internet for images in which the logo is deeply embedded (sometimes hardly visible).

He then sends an email to the owner of the website that contains the image (whether it’s a picture of the Mona Lisa, online photograph of a person, building) saying that he detected a potential infringement of Intellectual Property Law in the digital image located at a certain web address.

He offers them to remove the image from the website, to pay the company with whom they are in conflict, or to mention that the copyright of the embedded logo is from a certain company.

Logo.Hallucination brings to our mind some of the absurd consequences of the use of surveillance technologies.