Terra Nullius/Nobody’s Land: Excavation from Image 3.0
Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa
The a R Z a~ project – its title the phonetic rendering of the word ‘silver’ in French – offers a perceptual experience based on the most essential element of the digital format: the signal. Defined as a binary translation of a physical phenomenon, the ‘signal’ maintains a link with photography as a recording medium, but can also be translated or transcribed in different forms of energy such as sound and light. This work is the artist’s strong critique of the (mis)use of the iconic nude photograph of Lena, a Swedish model, published in Playboy magazine in 1972. The photograph (from the shoulders up) was systematically used from 1973 onwards by engineers at the University of Southern California’s Signal and Image Processing Institute for testing a compression algorithm. Azeroual’s work recorded frequencies from the movement of molecules on a silver surface to create an image that is magnified, and accompanied by a translation of the same signal into luminous variations, as well as into an interactive soundtrack generated from the granular surface properties of silver.