Art Students Swallow Pieces of Film to Become Human Cameras

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.

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“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?

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Photos © Luke Evans and Joshua Lake


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Feedback (6 Comments)

  • Doug Posted on April 25, 2013

    Is this a fake? How would light hit the photo sensitive material?

  • Jason Posted on April 26, 2013

    I agree. This has to be fake. Once they took the piece of film out of the canister to put it in the capsule, light would have hit it and ruined the film. Besides that, there is not enough light inside the human body to get a proper exposure.

  • Dom Posted on April 30, 2013

    It looks how crowds look like at rock concerts.

  • Bastián Posted on May 3, 2013

    Totally fake. Without a lens they could not have got proper macro focusing, without a camera’s machinery the film would have got “light” from all the “journey” (implying that there’s light inside the human body…), and without light they could have not got exposure.

  • Jerry Posted on May 7, 2013

    The film wasn’t exposed… it was digested and scanned with an electron microscope. Those images aren’t of the insides, it’s the gunk that got stuck on the film.

  • angie Posted on June 9, 2013

    If this really worked it is freaking genius!