Film: Disassociated

by Beauchamp Art



Disassociated was produced whilst exploring the process of repeatedly manipulating an image through various means to generate a short non-linear film sequence, accompanied by a droning, soundtrack; to create a fluctuating, abstract aesthetic that simulates the chaotic unprecedented potential for digital corruption.

By reprocessing a basic image through various means to give the impression of accidental distortion, a single frame was then multiplied and individually glitched, and re-laid upon itself to produce a fluctuating abstract sequence. This undermines definitive meaning in the piece, embodying it with the illusion of motion, echoing the unfixed nature of the digital image. Deliberately shrouding a portrait and the process in an ambivalent electronic haze, creating a visual representation for potentially unexpected and uncontrolled distortion through mediation of the individual by technological means: from photography through to its contemporary electronic, networked incarnation.

Video based on a repeatedly distorted image of a face, as part of the ‘Cognitive Dissonance of Telecommunication‘ digital work series.

The process began by photographing a face on a ‘phone camera, then scanning the phone displaying this image in conjunction with one’s face behind it.


The face on the smaller screen was then isolated, enraged, then repeatedly blurred and sharpened, to break up the image linearly, giving the impression of a glitch, or some form of accidental distortion.

This was then duplicated 29 time, and each separate image had sections of its code altered to provoke non-specific distortion; to glitch the file. These were then compiled together into a short sequence which was 1 second long [30fps], which was repeated, and the ordered scrambled, then overlaid with itself in various orders in order to create a constantly shifting dialogue between the frames, so that they were abundant with repetition, but each frame unique.
A series of variations of this layering of the frames was then exported as a video format (ranging from 1 to 4 seconds), and imported into a video editor, where it was layered, stretched, compressed, reversed, and sections were made to fade in and out to create even more variety with the sequence.

The soundtrack consists of multiple layers of a short piece of music written as originally as more of an experiment in polyrhythms than explicitly art-related.

However, this piece (sans percussion) was then reprocessed, applying further compression/bit reduction, filters, echoes and so forth, so as to mimic the distorted of the visual element. With the inclusion of the lingering resonance of a long reverb to create a more drone-like sound as an undercurrent to the soundscape, creating a more unsettling ambience.

Originally this was intended to be a looping video sequence, however, with the addition of the soundtrack, it was decided that it should be displayed as a short film, around 3 mins long, which would fade in, transit; fluctuate, then fade out: in order to be more conclusive, though the original version of the footage without the fades could be displayed in loop.
(However, the looping distorted video would have a hint of a faux-Henry Driver aesthetic – though sharing similar visual qualities, the process used and the motivation behind the making of this film is wholly dissimilar to my peer’s work.)

This rather extreme means of distorting the aesthetic of a familiar figurative subject – the face; obscured and rendered near illegible by there process used to create it; and reprocessing of the visual representation of the self is intended to echo the potential unexpected and uncontrolled distortion of the mediation of the individual through technological means; from photography through to its contemporary digital, networked incarnation (the profile picture, et al.).
One’s representations, when repeatedly mediated, become devolved from the original being; they have the potential to be greatly contrasting to the individual which they are reflecting. Should this reflection be presented online, through social media, this then may become an extension of the self; never wholly detached, but with a sense of unreality. The facade may be more readily encountered than the objective being, subjecting them to a refracted perception of the individual, and the facsimile can become seen as more authentic than the original incarnation.
The bigger the lie, the more one may choose to believe it.