Replicative Fading - An Exploration Of The Beauty Of Information Decay

replicativefadingthumb.jpgHave you ever wondered what happens if you scan a printed document, then scan and print the copy, then scan and print the copy, again and again, over and over?

This video explores the effect of just such an experiment.

About The Video

The orignal document was just an assortment of open-rights images that I picked for their different colours, tones and gradients.

I printed it out on plain paper, then used the copy function of my all-in-one inkjet printer to scan and copy it, then copy the copy, and so on, for 90 generations.

Dust, Ink, Distortion

The process could have been performed with care to eliminate dust, to ensure that each printed sheet was flattened before re-scanning, and to keep the printer ink topped up and the nozzles cleaned.

But in the end, I decided this was all grist for the mill, so dust, printing flaws, the slight cockling of the ink-wetted paper, plus the optical limitations of the scanner, the slight non-faithfulness of the inks and the reproduction process all took their part in eroding the image.


Before, during or after the video(s) embedded in this page, the player may display advertisements or links to additional videos - these are not affiliated to Atomic Shrimp and the selection is something over which I have no control.


1. On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 02:52 by threemilechild

Reminds me of when someone did this with VHS;

2. On Sunday, July 14, 2013, 11:30 by Peter

Wonderful, reminds me of someone using repetitive photocopier zooming to 'visualise atoms'...!

3. On Monday, July 22, 2013, 13:10 by checkwick

beautiful piece of work

4. On Thursday, July 25, 2013, 00:57 by Richard

Why not reverse the sequence? To watch the apple grow out of nothing, to a blob, to an apple, for instanceThere is something pleasingly evolutionary about that. Love the general idea, though the cost of ink must have been scary. Delighted to find yo

5. On Sunday, August 24, 2014, 09:23 by Jon

On a similar but non-identical note I am reminded of a sequence on a Jim Al-Khalili production, probably 'the secret life of chaos' but I cannot remember exactly where he films himself infront of a large TV screen which is being fed the signal by the c

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