Code Movie 1 is a codework flash movie poem. “Codework refers to the use of the contemporary idiolect of the computer and computing processes in digital media experimental writing, or [net.writing]” (Rita Raley). It is part of the larger Project //**Code_UP (http://container.zkm.de/code_up/), started by the author in 2004. The //**Code_UP is based on the manipulation of frames taken from the movie Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni. The section Code Movies is made up of 2 movies: Code Movie 1 and Code Movie 2. As the author describes, “code movies are made with hexa, ASCII and binary codes extracted from selected scenes of Blow Up film”. Code Movie 1 displays the animation of sets of hexadecimal encoding of the images (see “Syntax and structure” section at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG). This involves opening the selected images with a text editor and extracting (copying & pasting) the code to an image software or directly to Flash. The end result is a sequence of animated sets of hexadecimal code in black and white (undulating, rippling, exploding, zooming, etc.), set to a soundtrack by Helga Stein.
Code Movie 1 creates a paradoxical state of the image for the reader: we see it and we don´t see it at the same time. As shapes, colors, tones, brightness and contrast are used in their code-inscribed form, we can´t see these features visually. Yet all the information that allows them to exist is there and can be apprehended conceptually. Additionally, the code that represents the jpg image is itself treated as object—a visual object that can be animated. There is a cyclical aspect related to the kinds of media involved: the image becomes code (text) that becomes image. As Katherine Hayles puts it, “the surface reflexively references the codes that produce it, conceptually performing what Douglas Hofstadter calls the ‘eternal golden braid’, whereby the apparatus producing the representation becomes itself part of the representation” ( Hayles, “The Mourning After: Attending The Wake Of Postmodernism”).
Code Movie 1 pertains to a line of work Beiguelman develops in order to question the relationship between digital writing and its apparatuses—screens, Windows, frames, inscription, layers, depth, and shallowness. She addresses these by bringing to the surface what usually is invisible—computer code—and making it the material of a digital writing piece. This kind of work unveils content we usually don’t access when using digital objects—computational language encoding. It takes code as an aesthetic object beyond its conventional function and claims features of literariness and ‘poeticness’. Other poets that create codework are Alan Sondheim, Mez Breeze, Zach Whalen, Daniel Holden and Chris Kerr.