Moiré Effect: Index and the Digital Image

Stella Baraklianou


The moiré effect and phenomena are natural occurring geometric formations that appear during the super-position of grid structures. Most widely recognisable in colour printing practices, generally viewed on screens (computer and TV) they are in most cases examples of interference within a signal or a code, unwanted visual mis-alignment. Especially in digital image capture, moiré patternings appear when a geometrically even pattern, like a fabric or close-up of fine texture, has an appearance of rippled water with blue or red hues of concentric circle formations. The intriguing pattern formation in this case points back not only to the mis-alignment of frequencies, but can be further seen as the intersection point of a speculative ontology for the index of the digital image. Moiré not only as a visually reproducible phenomenon or effect, but a field of vision that blurs the boundaries between analogue and digital, perception and affect, manifesting the photographic as a constant site of becoming, a site of immanence. The philosophy of Henri Bergson, Brian Massumi and Francois Laruelle will be explored alongside the moiré image and phenomenon, to see if there is such a speculative site underlining the becoming of the digital image and its repercussions in contemporary digital culture.

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