Layers – Space for visual Research
Images that have been edited with desktop publishing software contain additional visual data that affects the original while remaining indistinguishable to the viewer. While hiding the actual image data of a selection of retouched pictures, it reveals their otherwise hidden layers to examine the latters’ role as strictly functional components of digital image production.
Once an image is opened in the appropriate software application, it is retouched using individual adjustment layers or layer masks. Throughout this process, all working layers remain largely invisible, while the image itself is at the center of attention. Although largely concealed from the eye of its creator, the process of touching-up, rubbing-out or otherwise altering pixels generates sets of digital data: After editing is completed, the original image layer gets replaced by a solid color plane, revealing an unexpected and largely unpredictable visual composition.