Digital: Field

by Beauchamp Art



Circuit Board, Content Aware Fill, Loop

[Gifted] Circuit Board from Communication Assemblage

The process of creating the Field animation in Photoshop involved using the Content Aware fill tool on randomly selected rectangular areas within the frame; dragging out the selection area repeatedly, then inverting the selection before applying the fill, slowly turning the image more green, creating a seemingly organically growing, bacterial-like representation of Moore’s Law; hinting towards that fact that “computers are literally a million times more powerful than they were forty years ago” [Auerbach, 2014]. The primary image was just a small area of the image frame as a circuit board, where I then selected the area around the board, applying the fill that generated a textured based on the circuits, creating a random pattern over the rest of the image; using photography as “raw material to be manipulated by hand.” [Manovich, 201: 302] Creating a form of visual nonsense, a glitch-like aesthetic gobbledygook, creating an illustion that appears to disrupt “the data behind a digital representation in such a way that its simulation of analog can no longer remain covert,” [Manon, 2011] deriving from a figurative subject, not directly abstracting it, but devolving it from its natural form, creating a “digital uncanny.” [Grounlund, 2014/Freud, 1919]

Then, using the Timeline tool, loaded each of the image variations layers into a timeline, with each image representing a frame. It begins with the full image, before going to the plain green frame in the middle, and back to the full image, creating a looping palindromic/mirrored composition. This short looping GIF sequence has more in line with the earliest films, which often featured only a few short frames going in a circle, such as Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse in Motion (1878). However, it is worth considering how, in an era of new-ubiquity where subjects may go unresolved; like the construction of a website as an existentially unending, comparable to walking perpetually on a treadmill; whether “the loop [can] be a new narrative form appropriate for the computer age.” [Manovich, 317] There is no linear narrative to Google or Facebook, it is simply a constantly expanding archive, with its expansion its only narrative.

A second version of this animation was made using the same frames imported into After Effects, and exporting the sequences as a MOV film file, rather than an animated GIF image file, which could then be edited further in Final Cut Pro or other video editing software at a film aspect ratio, 16:9, rather than the square composition of the original GIF, which came from the cropping of the original image the circuit board was photographed in, which fittingly conveyed a uniformity that was usurped by the non-linear imagery.


Process Images

Editing each frame in Photoshop using the Content Aware fill tool.

Loading each frame into the Timeline to create a circular, palindromic composition that would loop perfectly.



Field [Alt]

Field Frames

Field - 1

Field – 1

Field - 4

Field – 4