Brendan Howell

Jungle of Amazon

An automatically illustrated version of Upton Sinclair’s novel of labour and flesh.

Generative Collage of Product Images

The text, originally published in 1906, describes the exploitation of migrant workers in the Chicago meat industry. It caused such a sensation at the time that a federal investigation was ordered. The report of the inquest led to the “Pure Food and Drug Act”, one of the first consumer protection laws and public health regulations in the United States. Sadly, very little was done to improve the plight of the human laborers or animals and we see similar forms of industrial-scale abuse still practiced by managers over a century later.

Test Images for Computer Vision

My special version of the novel has left the text intact but is illustrated by a kind of “Reading Machine”, a piece of artistic software which scans through the text and simultaneously searches on the Amazon corporation web site for the objects mentioned. The images are cut out and arranged into compositions based on computer vision analysis of traditional Chinese paintings.