Optical De-Dramatization Engine [O.D.E.] – Modulating Frames

Optical De-Dramatization Engine

Barbara Lattanzi’s research engages with writing software that manipulates the sequence of time in movies, with aesthetically and structurally destabilizing results. Her Optical De-dramatization Engine (O.D.E. ) is a program “modulating” frames independently and dynamically from each minute of a movie. The artist works with early 20th-century silent films and the software starts in an “algorithmically-determined point in the film that is consistent across dates and time-zones.” Here Lattanzi chose Thomas Ince’s ‘The Invaders’ (a 1912 film depiction of human drama), sampling 20 frames for each minute and extending every sample minute to one hour. After its final stretching to 40 hours, the process starts again. In the process the movie is constantly zoomed, showing crisp black and white patterns. They are the result of the digital encoding process showing the final contrast between what’s left of the primary material (black) and the light (white) in a stroboscopic effect that somehow captures the essence of the original movie.