Afterimage by Jaewook Shin in collaboration with Someth;ng
Afterimage is an interactive visual installation. This project augments a very common natural phenomenon that we normally ignore: a biochemical reaction technically called "bleaching". Our retinas have photoreceptors that biologically change when struck by light. Under normal light levels the photoreceptors' pigments are not drastically affected and they recover in a short time. However, prolonged exposure to a light source bleaches these pigments to a point where they are unable to respond to any other changes of light for several seconds. In this short time the image is experienced as if it were printed on the retinas.

This is known as an afterimage. During this time, wherever one looks, this image appears. We aim to use this natural phenomenon as an interaction process. The audience cannot consciously see a direct result, but over time they will discover a stimulus that is unique to each person. During the fast flash of light we are unaware of any shape that the lights represent. The development of the afterimage, however, reveals the whole picture, the same way any stimulus makes us recall long-forgotten memories from deep in our minds. The audience looks very briefly at an array of bright lights within a darkened room. We plan to take digital portraits of the audience as they enter this environment. Once they have adjusted to the lighting conditions, an intense array of lights produces a sequence that creates an afterimage of each face. The result of this process creates a recognisable afterimage.

This piece has been exhibited in London at the Candid Gallery in February and at the Dana Centre in March. For more information about the project and its progress please visit www.difdots.com/afterimage
Contact: Jaewook Shin jwook@somethingonline.org