The Evolution of an Image / by Zachary Copfer

These are new pieces I just completed for my "Code" portfolio. This body of work is an aesthetic exploration of the similarities between the genetic code and computer programing code. To create these works, I first use a dissecting scope to take photographs of organisms commonly used in genetic testing. Then, I open the digital image files in programming software and alter the actual hex code of the file. All of the variations seen in the images come from what I call "digital mutations" of the source code. After I crop the original image down to square format, zero post processing is done in imaging software. Every single alignment and color shift is produced at the code level. In fact, when I am working on a file I can't see the image at all, I am only looking at line after line of computer coding.

Previously, I was using this method to create collections of images that together formed an interesting composition. However, the process has begun to creep into the works. So, I am now experimenting with showing the progression of a single photograph as I continue to mutate the code until it becomes something new. These new pieces speak much more to the role of mutation as a catalyst for change in both the digital files and in living organisms. Feel free to check out some of the older code works in my portfolios above and let me know what you think about the new direction.