Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: disentanglement

3 Adversarial Disentanglement Using Latent Classifier for Pose-Independent Representation

Authors: Hamed Alqahtani, Manolya Kavakli-Thorne

Abstract:

The large pose discrepancy is one of the critical challenges in face recognition during video surveillance. Due to the entanglement of pose attributes with identity information, the conventional approaches for pose-independent representation lack in providing quality results in recognizing largely posed faces. In this paper, we propose a practical approach to disentangle the pose attribute from the identity information followed by synthesis of a face using a classifier network in latent space. The proposed approach employs a modified generative adversarial network framework consisting of an encoder-decoder structure embedded with a classifier in manifold space for carrying out factorization on the latent encoding. It can be further generalized to other face and non-face attributes for real-life video frames containing faces with significant attribute variations. Experimental results and comparison with state of the art in the field prove that the learned representation of the proposed approach synthesizes more compelling perceptual images through a combination of adversarial and classification losses.

Keywords: disentanglement, face detection, generative adversarial networks, video surveillance

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2 Brokerage and Value-Creation: Trading Practices in the English Market of 20th-Century Maps

Authors: Shaun Lim

Abstract:

This paper presents a 9-month ethnographic case study of the value creating strategies employed by an Oxford market-trader of 20th-century maps. Maps are usually valued and sold as either antique objets d’art or useful navigational tools, with 20th-century maps precariously lying between the boundary of the aesthetic and utilitarian value-regimes. Here, the brokerage practices involved in the framing of outdated, lowly valued maps into vintage commodities will be examined. Ethnographic material of the unstudied market of old maps is introduced and situated in the second-hand, antique and collectible spheres of exchange. The map-trader as a broker is the ethnographic and methodological starting point of this paper. Brokerage is understood through the activity of framing that defines and brackets the value-regimes of commodities with the aid of market and framing devices. The trader’s activities will be examined in three parts. (1) The post-sourcing industry: the altering, mounting and tagging of maps before putting them into market circulation. Mounts, frames and tags are seen as market devices that authenticates and frames maps with aesthetic and symbolic values along with the disentanglement of its use value. (2) The market-display: the constitution of space that encourages the relations of looking at maps as aesthetic objects, while the categorical arrangement of the display contributes to legitimising of the collectability of maps. (3) The salesmanship strategies of the trader: the match-making of customers with maps of meaningful value, and the mediating of knowledge through the verbal articulation of the map’s symbolic values. Ultimately, value is not created in an accumulative sense, but is layered and superimposed to cater to a wide spectrum of patrons. The trader creates demand for his goods by mediating and articulating value-regimes already coherent to potential patrons.

Keywords: art and material culture, brokerage, commodification, framing, markets, value

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1 Towards a Critical Disentanglement of the ‘Religion’ Nexus in the Global East

Authors: Daan F. Oostveen

Abstract:

‘Religion’ as a term is not native to the Global East. The concept ‘religion’ is both understood in its meaning of ‘religious traditions’, commonly referring to the ‘World Religions’ and in its adjective meaning ‘the religious’ or ‘religiosity’ as a separate domain of human culture, commonly contrasted to the secular. Though neither of these understandings are native to the historical worldviews of East Asia, their development in modern Western scholarship has had an enormous impact on the self-understanding of cultural diversity in the Global East as well. One example is the identification and therefore elevation to the status of World Religion of ‘Buddhism’ which connected formerly dispersed religious practices throughout the Global East and subsumed them under this powerful label. On the other hand, we see how popular religiosity, shamanism and hybrid cultural expressions have become excluded from genuine religion; this had an immense impact on the sense of legitimacy of these practices, which became sometimes labeled as superstition are rejected as magic. Our theoretical frameworks on religion in the Global East do not always consider the complex power dynamics between religious actors, both elites and lay expressions of religion in everyday life, governments and religious studies scholars. In order to get a clear image of how religiosity functions in the context of the Global East, we have to take into account these power dynamics. What is important in particular is the issue of religious identity or absence of religious identity. The self-understanding of religious actors in the Global East is often very different from what scholars of religion observe. Religious practice, from an etic perspective, is often unrelated to religious identification from an emic perspective. But we also witness the rise of Christian churches in the Global East, in which religious identity and belonging does play a pivotal role. Finally, religion in the Global East has since the beginning of the 20th Century been conceptualized as the ‘other’ or republicanism or Marxist-Maoist ideology. It is important not to deny the key role of colonial thinking in the process of religion formation in the Global East. In this paper, it is argued that religious realities constituted emerging as a result from our theory of religion, and that these religious realities in turn inform our theory. Therefore, the relationship between phenomenology of religion and theory of religion can never be disentangled. In fact, we have to acknowledge that our conceptualizations of religious diversity are always already influenced by our valuation of those cultural expressions that we have come to call ‘religious’.

Keywords: global east, religion, religious belonging, secularity

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