This Bug is Not a Bug / Amy Manson
This Bug is Not a Bug is an experimental work exploring the tension between the natural world as embodied by insect samples and the gaze of technology. The film is a stop motion sequence of images shot through a microscope objective mounted to a camera. Due to the objective’s extremely short depth of field, creating this work was a labour almost machine-like, each frame made up of 30 – 70 focused stacked images. The repetitive and tedious nature of capturing each image, accumulating and compiling masses of data, then running it all through a focus stacking algorithm, mirrors the way much modern scientific research is conducted, with computers and predominantly automated. Confronted by vibrant colours, alien seeming formations and striking patterns, elements of nature previously inconspicuous are rendered unexpectedly awe inspiring, grotesque and beautiful, but ultimately unrecognisable. This Bug is Not a Bug speaks to the way in which technology takes nature out of context, seeing only the useful parts while obscuring the importance of the interrelated whole.