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Image as chemical atemporality

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This article analyses today’s perception, production and consumption of the digital image in the context of historical mechanization, photographic development and the prototypical design of a chemical reactive hypertemporal setting. Digital materiality is explicitly designed through a time-based performative image transiimage transition from the static image to the image as palimpsest in a post-digital era. First, it introduces the topic by providing a historical overview of devices that allowed the generation, construction and the change in perception of the image. Starting from the invention of the Camera Obscura as a device of image projection, the article highlights a change of representation from as early as fifteenth-century drawing machines to today’s plethora of image-generating devices. The article investigates in more detail the transition of the image through mechanical production and the change of medium in the form of photographic image development and its consequences. Furthermore, it presents research into the hyper-temporality of a chemical image in relation to the digitalization and computer numeric controlled drawing machines. Each chapter of the article is related to one of my artistic works – Virtual Sunset, Urban Scan, Slow Selfie and the ongoing project titled Liquid Light. Each of the works is associated with an image production and perception property, gradually articulating the current state of the images as a hybrid. The research concludes with a focus on the hybrid image combining computer-controlled construction through sensorial data and vector-based input with photo-chromic reactions stimulated by multiple overlaying light emitters. The result is a chemical animated image – a piece de resistance and transformation of the a-temporality of digital data.
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Keywords: 3D projection mapping; chemical augmentation; image production; perspective; photography; vision

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: City University of Hong Kong

Publication date: 01 June 2016

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  • Ubiquity is an international peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. "Ubiquity", the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how Ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
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