Experience the existence
Meta-album based on data re-interpretation
from digital photographs
This work is a journey from the outside to the inside, from the resonant world of our five senses to a different interpretation of our tangible Reality.
All our life is based on perceiving through our senses, thinking through our ideas, performing actions with our bodies. From the simplest to the most sophisticated activity we engage in, our world is translated by our neural networks into complex sequences of only two electrical states: hot/cold, current/no current, fire/not fire. Depending on the way these binary signals and sequences are processed, we end up creating different levels of perception, sensations, feelings. Our interpretation of what’s out there…Simply put: what we experience and call life.
A similar procedure occurs when we try to capture the world through digital tools. Outer reality is processed and transcribed with a binary system of 0s and 1s: encoding; digitalization. From the same source differences emerge, depending on what and how you decide to filter, translate and decode. Complex states are transformed into more interpretable versions of the original content. The world is reduced to sequences of two states, ON and OFF.
The world is like a big database of complex raw data ready to be interpreted. Our everyday truth is only one of these possible interpretations, chosen because of an interpolation of different causes in the history of human evolution.
Is it possible to suggest something that goes beyond a common perception of Reality, using it’s digital depiction as the only starting material?
The aim of this project is to investigate this question, through a multi-disciplinary piece of art: an installation merging images and sounds. Digital photographs become an act of suspension of tangible Reality, as well as the starting point for a data re-interpretation activity. Using different data-reading and bending methods, it’s possible to go beyond the content of the original pictures, creating new digital representations of previous subjects.
Through a series of alterations and algorithmic processes on photographs, we obtain a result that, although deriving directly from a common Reality, tends to express something else. The output, composed of animated images (GIFs) and stereo audio tracks, is entirely produced from the digital data set of the original photographic shots.
This form of animated visualization, the GIF image, is simply a quick rotation through a number of static frames. GIFs were chosen to give a fundamental characteristic to the work: they produce a visual immersion without precise time. Sometimes the sounds stop, while images continue to stream into minds. Other times the images seem to be blocked, while the audio continues. There is no beginning nor an end; it’s an unfinished moment that flows.
This is an immersive research, a path to reach a virtual space where every mind can search for and explore other meanings, where the same digital databases are rendered to establish memoirs of lives never lived. Using an instance of space and time compressed in a single moment (a photograph) and expanding it in a parallel vision of another reality (limitless GIF loops), a new Reality is born out of the chosen digital interpretation.
“SUSPENSION - From Reality to Data” is a meta-album, or better, a data-album. Every piece of the project requires to be experienced not as a simple artistic expression, but as a possible interpretation of digital data derived from our tangible Reality. The work is composed of a collection of 10+1 GIFs connected to the same number of audio tracks.
Every GIF has to be experienced with its relative track. Different GIFs and their relative tracks should not be played simultaneously.
SUSPENSION is a work about time, different perceptions, mind, meta-art and virtual spaces.
SUSPENSION at the moment is hosted here on a private webpage,
where all the 10+1 GIFs and tracks can be privately experienced.
Enter the virtual rooms_
Join the Suspension_
• free your thinking
• lose yourself
An experience that starts from Reality and lands to your personality, your view... Your mind.
Photography has the ability to block moments in Reality.
All we can see from a photo is the common interpretation of its informa- tion. One 0 after another and in the middle a few 1, pixel by pixel, only the surface of multiple data layers.
We experience that image as an infinitesimal of a second in our life. We end up believing that is all that exists.
What if we could work on the information of a single shot and, interpreting that data differently, build something above the tangible Reality?
What about creating another vision, an altered state of our everyday life? What if we could see all above the Real, straight to another interpretation of the same information? How our concentration can act on developed data materials from the Real World as a suggestive incubator for Something Else? What can Reality suggest when its elemental data are distorted and manipu- lated on different levels of expression?
A different level of data interpretation, a digital incubator of thoughts, from a digital translation of Reality to your mind. The data from pictures are re-read through different processes and transformed to result in a new order of reality, letting our minds to flow through re-ordered BITS and scrambled levels of data hierarchy.
Could everyday truth be experienced in another way?
Every element of the work, from the GIF’s frames to the audio track associ- ated with it, is the result of digital processes applied only on the original pictures. No external material (audio or images) has been added during the manipulations.
The opera utilizes GIFs as one of the two media supports. As a reinter- pretation of a medium that exists primarily to communicate low resolution images for memes purposes, here it becomes an high-definition artistic tool. From a simple positive-negative layers overlapping technique to find new depth in the original image perspective, through alteration, distortion, data-bending and re-reading processes, the result is to overcome the ex- pression of the original material.
Each element of the work is thought as an instrument of investigation, as an incubator to something that goes beyond our common interpretation of the world.
The project wants to drive you on a deeper level of exploration. Starting from some casual situations straightly taken from the everyday life, the multicolored and psychedelic images, together with the soundscapes/drones audio tracks, allow you to make a change of perspectives.
Excerpts from the artistic process
Many softwares have been used for this project.
There wasn’t a fixed method for all the contents presented here, but some big mechanisms of try&fail. Here below there is a brief description of some of them.
(All the steps have been blended and mixed together, transcoding back and forth images in sounds and vice versa, potentially many times).
From the original image, data manipulation began with some classics images processing suites, like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Some areas of the photographs were transformed inverting the tone-curve, to create contrasts between positive and negative portions. Twisting the color spectrograms, some artifacts popped out. Going crazy with common parameters, like contrast, exposure, whites, blacks, saturations, the photos begin to express something else...Layers over layers of these steps have been then overlapped.
The same suite is then been used to create the GIFs final formats.
In some cases the image files have been manually modified, add- ing, modifying or deleting parts of the data contained in them. This through simple tools, such as TextEdit and 0xED. Every format (PNG, bmp, TIFF, jpeg and so on) has its own data structure and its methodologies on how to codify the information into it.
Some ideas from Phil Tucker, Jeff Thompson, Kim Asendorf and tools like GLIC from the GITHub community around the glitch art movement were really helpful and powerful to achieve the lightest pixel sorting changes as well as the strongest data-bending results.
GIFs have to walk on a subtle line, being built to maintain the perfect mental balance between our reality and what else could be above it. Not too much, not too little.
The operations that involved sounds have been developed using some tools like Audacity, iZotope RX and GleetchLab for the decoding (RAW data import, data player and so on), decrypvtion and deciphering of images into audio.
Gleetchlab software (version 4 and X) was the only processing chain used to extract and shape the sound material. No others DSP tools involved. Sounds generated by these processes in some cases have been re-converted into images or, better, re-open into an image editor software or into a simple text editor (or HEX data editor). However, nothing has been synthesized or imported as external sound material if not present as digital data in the original photos. All the audio contents originally pulled out from every original pic has then been assembled using Ableton Live (only copy, cut, levels and pan/balance) to create the relative soundtrack. All these actions could maybe seem like wild flights to make new media materials. They are, to- tally. But the point is not to create new sound and visual impressions, but to find new interpretations for a database of raw data that it has already been interpreted in a single unidirectional way as a photo.
Again, the method used doesn’t want to be scientific in the sense of per- ceiving a result that could be repeated and reproduced to prove something. The aim was to use data from some ordinary digital photographs to express something that goes beyond it. Artistic result has been the only outcome to aim for.
The opera is at the moment hosted on a private webpage at: