Phototactic Behavior in Sewn Slides

found footage sewn slide sewn slides film

I shot several rolls of 35 mm slides to document a film loop. The slides came back blurry and were unusable as documentation, so I created a new piece from the rejected slides. This was an impulse in part defined by the handcraft ethos of mending and recycling.

I sewed onto the slides with a sewing machine, using two different kinds of thread.

When the slides are projected, the pattern of the thread and the holes left by the sewing needle become the foreground imagery. The fan of the slide projector blows the thread, which causes an unusual kind of animation, and the projector’s automatic focus struggles to focus on the 3 dimensional thread hanging in front of and behind the slides. The title of the piece refers to the response of object to machine: phototaxis is the movement of an organism or a cell toward or away from a source of light.

During the installation, each sewn slide is projected for ten seconds onto a large projection screen such that the images are sized 15 x 12 feet or larger. The slide projector runs in a continuous loop.