I am interested in particles. In the field of science, the study of the atomic, sub-atomic and now, the search for the sub-sub-atomic have brought about huge leaps in understanding. There has always been a unrelenting desire to know what our universe is made up of – what the absolute smallest building block consists of. I’m not quite there, but in an age of information, it is easy to take for granted how much data we are generating, transmitting and digesting every minute of every day. It flies around us, invisible and disposable. The base of any form of data is a binary – a magnetic state that reads either 0 or 1. There are no other options. The 0 and the 1 are the absolutes in digital data, but the complexity of the relationships that can be generated forms everything that we have come to know and expect in our world. My taxes, your bank account, breaking news, that competitive cooking show on TV and almost all of the memories that we now store on our phones and devices can be broken down into massive quantities of 0s and 1s. We don’t see all of this data because our computers have gotten very good at compressing and masking the basic values and only displaying information that we can read and process.
I took the last photo that I shot on my iPhone, broke it down into hex values (it’s like shorthand for individual pixel colors and values) and broke that down further into the binary. The result was 4,876,480 characters; 2,469,477 0’s and 2,407,003 1’s. When I placed those characters into a document, the result was a print 44″ wide by 120″ tall with the type at 4pt font. The print begs to be seen in person, but it is an astounding number of characters. And this is just the last photo that I took on my iPhone. I don’t know that I’ll follow this idea until later, but I’m definitely excited to see where it takes me.