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  Saturation Trails [ laser ] (2017)

Saturation Trails seeks to reveal the architecture of the digital image through direct material interaction with image sensors, the now ubiquitous photosensitive semicondcutors which transduce light into voltage in our digital cameras. The project appropriates three
techniques from optoelectronic manufacture and testing: pulsed lasers, acid etching and x-ray radiation.

The laser tests exposed a variety of compact camera image sensors to laser pulses fired in a horizontal across, inscribing a
permanent horizon across the image. As the power of the laser increases, the vertical columns of the sensor are broken
revealing the grid by which the image is produced. The objective lens of the laser apparatus was reflected onto the image folding
cause and effect together. As the sensor is increasingly damaged the camera's attempts to normalise the exposure also become
visible.

VIDEO: laser test #2

The work was conducted in the Optoelectronic Research Centre at the University of Southampton.
Thanks to Dr Ben Mills and Professor Rob Eason.