Shadow Self
exhibition, Distillery Gallery, 2019


Shadow Self is an exploration of the evolving role of technology as a tool, medium, and active collaborator in artistic practice. Designed and developed by Sarah Trahan and Andrew Sliwinski, this work includes participation by a custom-built Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) – a type of machine learning system – which has been trained on the social media “likes” of Sarah Trahan. Sarah sends a piece of artwork to the GAN, which returns a new, novel image in response. The GAN’s response is then subsequently integrated into Sarah’s next piece. The work shown here is a single series of back and forth exchanges between the artist and the GAN; creating a form of dialogue between the artist and the technology, the artist and the tool, and ultimately the artist and herself.



Artist input, collage on paper.

GAN output from artist’s image.
Animation of the GAN processing input.

Animation of part of the GAN training set, from the artist’s Tumblr likes.
,Artist image, cut and folded paper collage, 11 x 14”.
GAN output, inkjet print, 11 x 14”.



Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.


Installation detail.

Artist image, cut and folded paper collage, 11 x 14”.

GAN output, inkjet print, 11 x 14”.