Stephen Cornford


  Saturation Trails [ X-ray ] (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 X-ray assay exposed the image sensors from two commercial cameras, one HD and one SD, to an incremental dose of X-ray radiation. While the duration of these exposures was not sufficient to do permanent damage, it was imaged in both cameras as a coloured noise pattern, and caused other artifacts to be produced in the image. In exhibition these videos are shown alongside the
appropriated footage from the internal investigation of the primary containment vessel of Fukushima Daiichi, Unit 2 (stills of which
can be seen below). Here the endoscopic camera produces an involuntary record of the radiation inside the reactor.

VIDEO: X-ray Assay #2

The work was conducted using the Irradiation Facility at the immunology research centre of Southampton General Hospital.
Thanks to Ian Mockridge.