The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself “what am I?”, a correct answer could be: a living, breathing camera. Last year, two art students, Luke Evans and Joshua Lake, conducted an unusual experiment in which they swallowed several pieces of film to capture the digestive system at work. Their art project was aptly named “I Turn Myself Inside Out”.
At first glance, the artworks of Kingston University students Luke Evans and Joshua Lake look like a collection of specimens captured under a microscope, when in fact they are stills of their digestive systems doing what they do best, process stuff. The two young artists said “we wanted to bring our insides out” so they swallowed several piece of 35mm photographic film and let their bodies do the rest. They’re no doctors, so they didn’t know for sure if this would affect their health in any way, but as a precaution they put the film inside brightly colored capsules to avoid damage to their colons (those things have sharp edges). After eating the film, the two Graphic Design & Photography students waited for nature to take its course and hoped for the best. When the time came, they did their “business” in a bag, took it to a dark room and started looking for the capsules. Luckily, their bright color made them easy to spot. After retrieving the film strips, they scanned them with an electron microscope which revealed some interesting images of their insides.
“This project isn’t ‘photography’ in the traditional sense, in some ways it’s image making about photography,” Evans told Wired Magazine. “Film has a huge history and set of rules surrounding it, but who is to say that it must be approached in such a way?” Even if it probably grosses some people out, you have to appreciate the originality of their idea, right?