20 November 2009

a film made of paper and scotch tape

David Gatten, who is teaching some cool courses here at Duke next semester, makes what sound to be amazing films out of material bits of language. Check him out talking about the latest in his series Films for Invisible Ink, a film "with pretty much no image, just white space":

The entire film is made from a single piece of paper that had part of Darwin's Origin of the Species on it. What I did was I put scotch tape down all over the text, then I boiled the page. What happens when you do that is the glue from the scotch tape soaks up the ink, so I had a lot of pieces of tape with words on them. Then I had a really pulpy, fibrous mass of the backing of the paper that the words had been pulled from. Then with a close-up lens on an optical printer, basically a device that turns your camera into a microscope, I filmed up close thee words of Charles Darwin and the paper fibers from the paper I pulled them off of.