Esther Urlus – Chrome

Chrome from Sonic Acts on Vimeo.

Chrome is a work by Esther Urlus, commissioned by Sonic Acts for Vertical Cinema (2013). Chrome is inspired by the autochrome process, a colouring technique for black-and-white photographs invented by the Lumière brothers in 1903. In the auto process, microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red-orange, green and blue-violet act as colour filters. At normal viewing distances, the light coming through the individual grains blends together in the eye, reconstructing the colour of the light photographed through the filter grains. In Chrome the images created by this process are ‘amplified’, as if they are viewed through a microscope: a constantly moving noise of grains that forms shapes and outlines. The images have been created by applying homebrew film emulsion in grain structures to transparent 16 mm film with an airbrush. The resulting filmstrips have then been exposed and developed to black-and-white images. Layer by layer these images have been transformed to colour, resulting in teardrop-shaped figures that seem to be falling and fragmenting. The super-enlarged grain structures create unrecognisable shapes and apparitions. The soundtrack was created with Huib Emmer, who created an electronic adaptation of a musical piece dating back to the time of Auguste and Louis Lumière, the pioneering days of photo- and cinematographics. 12 October 2013 Kontraste 2013 Krems, Austria 24 January 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam Rotterdam, the Netherlands 20, 21, 22 & 23 February 2014 Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Amsterdam, the Netherlands 7 & 8 November 2014 Leeds International Film Festival Leeds, England

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