False Hopes versus The Universe Inside of Us

WARNING: This video may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

False Hopes versus The Universe Inside of Us
2022
Single-channel high-definition digital video
08:43 minutes (looped), 16:9, colour, sound

Dance of the Ethereal.

In the world of digital imagery there is nothing—no objects, just various combinations of pixels arranged to create the perception of things. A pipe is not a pipe, a toilet is not a toilet, a chair is not a chair. Picture-taking and picture-making is two-dimensional sampling of our everyday experience living in a world of images that change in time. Yet, whereas we are three-dimensional creatures living in a three-dimensional world—a movie uses sampling to recreate this experience—pixels exist in zero-dimensional space. A pixel is the absolute existence of digital imagery—the void that holds the myriad of (visually digital) things together. The little square dots we see aren’t actually pixels (a picture element). Pixels are digital and invisible—they are the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on a screen. The square dots are analogue—the visible thing (a display element). Display elements change over time with technological advancement and from one manufacture to the next; yet pixels are universal—they exist across space and time. Everything from the first image on the first computer (the Manchester Baby built in 1948) to the Mars Exploration Rovers. Just like all philosophy descends from Plato, all images descend from pixels. Almost all the images we experience are digital and mediated by the pixel and the bit (a pixel is a packaging of bits). It is the universal medium—the elementary particles of our way of seeing. Pixels allow the invisible to become visible. False Hopes versus The Universe Inside of Us is an ode to the pixel. A dance. A love song. A composition of the invisible. I wanted to make the images sway, move, flex, and be malleable and unbounded.

“The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe?
No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe”, I’d have been lying!”
— René Magritte talking about La Trahison des Images (1929)