X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility > Backscatter Blueprint

Backscatter Blueprint is about the use of machine vision in the control of international borders and how material changes and scale can effect the meaning of the images produced. Cyanotype is used to remediate appropriated images taken using a backscatter x-ray machine. Using an analog historical process developed at the beginning of the modern period to reproduce imagery intended for digital screen based viewing asks us to consider the historical precedence for digital imaging and development of Western Enlightenment vision technologies beginning with perspectival painting. The historical uses of cyanotype in both taxonomy and the reproduction of architectural plans resonates with the authoritative elevation-like imagery that the backscatter machine produces, images that reveal a jarring tension between the rationalized mechanical grid of the trucks and the fragile bodies of their human cargo. The scale changes and physicalization of these images promote an intimacy that the native viewing experience in which they are typically produced for denies, separating these images from the screen gives them body and space to be viewed outside of their original context, of hunter and hunted.