William Miller is a photographer that revels in the analysis of physical film negatives portrayed as actual sculpture. Starting photographs of walls with minute details of forms and shapes, William scanned these photographs into a computer in order to enhance the image to the point where these shapes were more apparent. However, the process of scanning the negatives had a strange effect. Williams attention was drawn away from focusing on the detail within the image while he noticed more the features of the physical piece of film.
In a way to capitalize on this notion of focus on the physical aspect of film. William began altering the film in various ways, to emphasize their sculptural elements.
Here is what William Miller says about his project Surface Tension:
"As a photographer who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, I developed a great reverence for film. It’s therefore odd for me to find myself destroying 100 rolls of 120 color negative film from an abandoned photographic project. In the project I’m destroying, I photographed seemingly blank walls looking for shapes and patterns barely visible to the naked eye. I scanned the negatives digitally and raised the contrast to reveal the hidden subtle forms. I became frustrated with the process of scanning film to digital. The files were filled with digital quirks and flaws that brought out physical characteristics of the negatives rather than the photographs. It occurred to me to follow that route and show the negative almost exclusively.Untitled_Surface_Tension_15
The film is the vehicle for our images. We carefully clean off the dust and avoid fingerprints and scratches. We want the surface of our negatives to be silent. I want to reconsider the traditional process of shooting, processing and printing film. I fold, crumple and slice the film, often randomly, to emphasize its sculptural elements. I make these fractures interrupt the frames of the images trapped in the film’s emulsion like a fly in amber. I’m making the old project participate in it’s own destruction and rebirth this time as an image and an object. I’m using the flatbed scanner that failed me in the abandoned project to photograph the film again. The film’s surface reflects the illuminating digital eye of the scanner back into itself, conveying the experience of being seen. "