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//**Code_UP investigates digital images particularities and interrogates the role of the code in the meaning construction.

The research is based on a conceptual dialogue with "Blow up" (1966), by Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the deepest discussions ever made on the nature and the place of the image in contemporary culture, permanence and transitory, and on how we deal with the visible and the invisible phenomena.

The film tells the story of a photographer (Thomas, interpreted by David Hemmings) who may registered, by chance, a crime in a park. On developing his pictures he is startled to find what appears to be a man with a gun in the bushes and, in a later shot, a body.

Rushing back to the park in the middle of the night he finds the body, but on his return to the studio all his pictures have disappeared. When he returns to the park in the morning the body, too, has gone and Antonioni seems to say: It all might never have happened´┐Ż

His investigation about the crime is made through successive magnifications of the photographic registers he shot accidentally.

In this process the picture appears in its essence, reduced to its materiality: nitrate of silver grains on paper. In other words, the image was not there and Antonioni now seems to ask us: what you see is what you get?

In short, we can say Thomas could not interpret images. His superficiality allowed him just to see photographies. He trusted the technical devices (which are tools), but could not deal with technology as production of knowledge.

In //**Code_UP I reproduced Thomas movements, working on the same images he developed in the film, blowing them up using programs that perform algorithmic zooms, allowing manipulation of the RGB values, exploration of the pixel and screen structure and their translation into different numeric systems and codes (hexadecimal, binary, ascii).

Reproducing Thomas' procedures in his investigation, but reverting his point of view, paying attention to the invisible dimension of the image, establishes the conceptual dialogue with Antonioni. At the same time it opens the possibility to interrogate the image construction in the context of new technologies of seeing and perceiving.

(Source: Author's description from the project site)

Technical notes: 

Flash, Java runttime environment

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Scott Rettberg