Stephen Cornford


 Spectral Index   






Digitisation has shifted the materials on which our media technologies rely. The minerals and metals required for digital imaging are the same as those now required for energy transition away from fossil fuels. These converging pressures are triggering a new resource race, with nation states and political blocks scrambling to ensure secure supplies of these suddenly ‘critical’ raw materials. This race is both driven by and reliant upon visual cultures, producing a recursive circularity in which images are used to produce minerals which are used to produce images.

A ‘spectral index’ is a mathematical image function in which different wavelengths of the visible and infrared spectrum are combined to produce false colour images that analyse different terrestrial conditions. In the prospecting projects currently underway in search of critical minerals, these indexes are a vital tool in locating and identifying novel deposits. This single-screen video work considers how these spectral indexes frame our relationship with landscapes perpetually surveilled by orbital satellites and aerial drones. To gaze at the earth through these instrumental lenses both presumes ownership and assumes the future functionality of the planetary surface below.

Commissioned by Avantwhatever .
Made following a 12 month collaboration with GREENPEG .



Four Million Tonnes per Annum

Spectral Index

Petrified Media

Dark Current Collages
Horizon of Fulfillment

To Photograph A Rock
Pixel Mining

RGB [Retinally Governed Behaviours]

Saturation Trails - Acid
- Laser
- X-Ray
Destruction of an Image Sensor

Constant Linear Velocity
Methodology for a Synaesthetic Screen

Digital Audio Film

Solipsism Cinema

Recorded (on) Delivery
Five Introverted Machines

Binatone Galaxy

In Search of a Concrete Music

Works for Turntable

Three Piece
Air Guitar
Extended Piano

Trespassing The Olympic Site
For Violin, Viola & Tape