I started off of with the idea of hunting down the code for a photo on my own personal desktop. On a regular basis, no one really sits and think “Hmm, I wonder what my computer thinks of this image…” or “I wonder what this image looks like to my computer…”. It is so “awe-stricking” to come to terms with the fact that you’re device views this data as something completely different than the human eye does. It translates a code and transforms it into the combination of pixels, colors and formation that we see and recognize as something symbolic. It takes the e-information and decodes into a data set, translated and transformed into a symbol of representation. I wanted to see how taking something so personal, as a private photo that belongs to you on your computer and means something to you, is in reality a combination of transcribed encoded matter that combined all together allows for the image to be created to what I see it us.
I chose this photo that was on my desktop (I had it as my background at some point) that I took in Yokohama, Japan two years ago. To me, this photo encapsulates way more than what it simply does for my computer.
We are viewing the same thing but actually seeing it differently.
And if we wanted to take it a step further, I would even say that my phone camera that captured this instance also saw this in a very different “light” – pun intended- when trying to take a real-time-moment that results in the still representation of the amusement park. Even though you could/can distort the image, change it, photoshop, etc. the specific capture moment is assigned/converted/translate and existent on its own unique code. – In the same way that we saw how ASCII, Unicode, etc. operate and each symbol i.e. a letter or an emoji, translate and stand for a specific assigned characteristic/value, similarly, this image, this digital data, has it own data correlation (of course pre-editing, since after that it would have a new, different, code that is ascribed to it with the new changes).
Martin Irvine, “Introduction to Data Concepts and Data Types.”
Ron White and Timothy Downs, How Digital Photography Works. 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Que Publishing, 2007. Excerpt.