XX – Double Exposure
Creativity Enhancing Software: Recreating the happy accident.
Digital technology offers production an extensive array of diverse desktop tools that would have been merely dreamt of 10 years ago. Complex manipulation of sound and image are a mouse click away and photographic, audio and video are seemingly only limited by the imagination of the artist. As these powerful tools become more prevalent, there is a backlash, an inevitable renewed interest in analogue possibilities.
Teaching an undergraduate unit in Experimental Media, one of the key tasks is to encourage students to think outside the box, to facilitate a re-evaluation of the use of media and production process. The mindset of conventional broadcast, corporate and interactive needs to be subtly shifted to encourage artistic and experimental practice to flourish.
Amongst the possible strategies available to enable this kind of leftfield approach is the unexpected juxtaposition of images. A possible starting point is the Dadaist approach to the assemblage of material, metaphorically ripping up material and creating random ‘poems’.
In the analogue world it would be a case of taking a roll of 35mm film and exposing it to a selection of material before passing to someone else who will perform the same process - allowing a random and unpredictable collage to unfold. This kind of raw material could then be used as a basis for a piece of work, the unconscious mind can create associations and work beyond the limitations of the linear image production.
While digital image manipulation programs allow us to carry out layering and multiple exposures, the process becomes driven by intentionality; the conscious mind has to engage in the act of constructing the image. The problem is then how to harness the power of the digital and to encompass some of the serendipity available in the analogue world – to engender a kind of automated production.
XX is an engine for creating slideshows of double exposed images. Generated in Macromedia Director MX 2004, the program randomly takes two images from a specified folder and double exposes them – creating an infinitely variable sequence of multiple images with the only limitation being on the content of the images folder.