By Ilona Pakarinen


This project showcases images sourced from the British Library’s open-access image archive, specifically categorized under ‘Ghosts and Ghouls.’ The images shift and transform in sync with the harsh piano chords that resonate over a backdrop of static noise. As these images shift, they create a spectral echo, giving the illusion of seamlessly morphing from one illustration to another. Animated noise overlays obscure parts of the subjects giving the illusion of hiding them in shadow. While another layer of animated noise flickers with the static background noise. The synchronization of these spectral images with the musical composition adds an element of unpredictability, as they do not transition with each piano note.

To create this video, I followed a YouTube tutorial for creating the effect of a Lumen-Print on flowers which changed as they reacted to sound. My intention was to explore ways to change the effect into something else. The tutorial originally used flowers as its subjects, but as the video didn’t provide the source for the images, I turned to the British Library’s Flickr page, which I had previously utilized in my work.

I didn’t intend to create a visual that was so different from the flowers, but using a completely different theme and tone made exploring the tutorial more interesting. It gave me the opportunity to explore what I liked and make my own judgements. The tutorial would use very specific settings to achieve the wanted effect on the flowers. Since my images were so different, it would require me to explore the settings to see what looked best on the illustrations. Which is in turn helped me better understand the purpose of different nodes and their settings.

Initially, I experimented with much smaller, almost icon-sized images, as opposed to the fully detailed illustrations seen in the final version. Although these smaller icons helped lay the basic groundwork for the video, I found that blurring and obscuring parts of the image was more interesting with larger, more detailed illustrations.

The background sound was sourced from Loyalty Freak Music, with a deliberate choice for simplicity and an eerie tone to maintain a minimalist aesthetic. The audio itself only consists of piano chords and static background noise. While my original idea was to transition with each piano note, I found in mz exploration that the effect was more captivating when transitions occurred sporadically. This approach allowed some images to linger while others appear only for a moment. I wanted to incorporate the static noise into the visual as well, so I linked it to one of the subtler noise layers to create the flicker effect.

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