Photographer Swallows 35mm Film, Allows Digestive Fluids To Create Astounding Images





In an unusual attempt to explore their own digestive tracts, student artists Luke Evans and Joshua Lake swallowed single frames of 35mm film, folding each piece in a brightly colored capsule that allowed for the acids and bodily fluids to process the film with minimal risk of colon damage. Once excreted, the negatives were recovered, cleaned, and studied in detail by an electron microscope; ultimately, they were printed into giant black and white works.

The project, titled “I turn myself inside out” is an almost uncomfortably intimate and human exploration of the photographic medium. Normally, images are produced and processed by machinery, light, and chemicals, but this provocative series substitutes the artists’ own bodies and their fluids for the impersonal metal gears and glass lens of a camera.

The images themselves are so strong because of their unexpected three-dimensionality; while most film photographs flatten space, condensing foregrounds and background to create a compelling work of art, Evans and Lake’s work does the opposite. Each frame looks like a scientific image taken from a microscope. The digestive process and the resultant breakdown of the film’s emulsion afford each image its dimensionality, transcending the medium’s traditional reliance on light and shadow to convey space.

The most miraculous aspect of the work lies perhaps in the tension that arises between the intimate and vulnerable bodily process and the somewhat impersonal aesthetic of the resultant images. Once printed, the images become abstract explorations of tone and space, their apparently inhuman, unemotional form subverted only by the knowledge of their painfully visceral creation. What do you think: gross or cool? (via Wired and Oddity Central)


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  • JSintheStates


  • dani

    I don’t understand the install shot of the colour images, are those just an overlay of the black and white photos with a normal photograph?

  • denisbalibouse

    Holy crap

  • Nitemoves

    it’s reflections on the glass.

  • W

    If you need an electron microscope to take another image of the film, why use film in the first place? could have been any material.

  • sb77


  • Gary

    @W, the fact that they are art students (rather than scientists) that they specifically chose the medium for a conceptual reason. Certainly if they were scientists there are better ways of approaching this :/

  • Daplayer2k7

    These are literally the SHIT!

  • Rowan

    These are beautiful, but I would have liked an image of what the film looked like under the microscope beforehand, just for comparison.

  • Jake

    Some people will never truly understand the meaning of art…

  • Tiff

    It doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t the acids in his stomach destroy the film? Wouldn’t bacteria in his body break down what’s left of the film? I say, Impossible.

  • SammyP

    While some people will never understand art.

  • Freeland

    The acids are the developer…

  • interested

    are the images of your insides or the process of the development?

  • interested

    I really enjoyed your images,
    by the way

  • 2J0e1h3z

    Doesnt this kind of art just give you the shits. 😉

  • Canadian Female

    Are you sure?

  • lloydyboy

    yep agree, kind of misleading, everyhting loks like that under EMs, its actually incredibley UNintimate.. makes me want to try doing what it was I though they were doing, would be far more interesting

  • lloydyboy

    its just reflections of the tungsten lights , and daylight through a doorway

  • Evelyn

    Ok it’s indeed very interesting but more would be a description of what we actually see

  • Ricky Karman

    In the photo on the left you can see a “Scream” mask in the middle and a Native American at the top. Wonder if it’s fake…I agree with Tiff.

  • SabotImages

    Stupid but then it is not my art.

  • craisin22

    Those are balls. This close they always look like landscapes. You’re looking at balls.

  • Daniel Kagle

    alkaline develops film not acid acid stops development

  • disqus_ayvQwhvS6h

    Some things people just don’t understand, aren’t art.

  • martin

    Stupid bullshit !!!… Why don’t you get a proper job?…

  • No, no, Impossible’s new “Stomach35” film won’t be out for another few months.

  • I can’t wait for the “behind”-the-scenes video.

  • EMS

    No, the body can’t digest insoluble fiber. It literally just moves through your body as almost one piece.

  • Tricia

    This doesn’t seem possible to me. When shooting a film photograph, a shutter opens allowing light onto the film for a set amount of time, through a perfectly focused lens, creating an exposure aka a photograph. How would it be possible to swallow a slide and get an in-focus image that looks as though all motion has been stopped? I would imagine swallowed film would be a non-photograph of a blurred exposure with no focus. Does that make sense?

  • Slow clap. Very nicely done.

  • Tomas

    art wank

  • jamal

    art aren’t, understand don’t just people things some.

  • Karl Nilsson

    “images become abstract explorations of tone and space, their apparently inhuman, unemotional form subverted only by the knowledge of their painfully visceral creation.”

    i feel like i shouldn’t be in the room while people are writing this stuff

  • Karl Nilsson

    last time they were balls

  • mr. sleep

    will people some while art aren’t, understand just

  • Sean Lowe

    Derp Derp, Derpy Deprty Derp Art

  • Guest

    ^^^^ These comments are WIN!!!

  • mario gonz

    is that art? i mean the …c-c-c-c-c-combo braker!

  • kali

    Great point

  • WMF

    My guess is that they tried to develop the film and didn’t get anything interesting, so had to go the electron microscope image route. I agree with earlier comments – to do that, they could have used lots of other materials besides film. But I guess it’s more conceptual this way?

  • Guest

    Why would the film expose inside where there is no light? I think these are all pictures of his feces from after the film comes out.

  • Guest

    Or just fakes.

  • Dylan

    Some art aren’t just people things don’t understand.

  • Rob

    These haven’t been taken in the usual way that photos work. These strips of film aren’t reacting to light, the digestive fluids are degrading the film itself. They aren’t photos of inside his body, they’re images resulting from the film reacting to the digestive system. It’s kind of similar to how film has an expiration date, because the chemicals in the film degrade due to air and other particles. Just in this case, it’s not air, but bodily fluids.

  • Ryan Dunn

    Some recombinatoric comment threads aren’t art, and some Art.

  • Ryan Dunn

    No, it’s deceptive damage control + artspeak…and apparently it worked for Wired, Oddity Central, and this author…

  • Alex

    Im just curious as to how he then retrieved the film……………. gross lol!

  • Daniel Lowe

    Want to be a famous photographer? Do something that makes people uncomfortable, preferably something that’s never been done before.

    Doesn’t matter if the images are good.. just Shock People, and 1000 websites will run your photos!


  • Raghav

    Your sentence structure is so bad, Yoda is jealous.

  • Ted

    Two Artists Dig Film Out of Their Own Poopy When They Could’ve Just Put Anything Under an Electron Microscope To Achieve The Same Effect

  • TishTash

    What is this website? The Onion?

  • dan690

    I think I will just take my film to the one hour.

  • DWMK

    The three dimension aspect the writer talks about is from the Electron Microscope. These are images OF the physical film itself, not images ON the film. This is a provocative piece of art in terms of process as medium – this is indisputable – but I believe the writer above may be confused as to the source of the images. She writes that the photographs “look like scientific images taken from a microscope.” That is exactly what they are.. As far as the intimacy f bodies vs. the cold mechanism of machines – electron microscopes are large machines that can fill a small room . Much less intimate than a small camera holding analog film.

  • i don’t understand how “Each frame looks like a scientific image taken from a microscope” when they indeed actually “studied in detail by an electron microscope”

  • Tyler

    These actually aren’t photographs at all. They’re electron micrographs of the partially digested film. Probably because the film itself just looked like partially digested goop.

  • Steve Cheney

    It seems odd to go all electron-microscopy with it; surely just developing the film would make more sense as an experiment, even if the images weren’t that interesting.

  • Christine

    So he swallowed, shit and looked at it. We all do that but we don’t alert the media.

  • David Coates

    And waste valuable, perfectly good film in the process.

  • Triforce_Chaser

    Didn’t read the article, but the pictures looked disgusting and I felt the need to express that…

  • Yoda

    Great, my sentence structure is. What you are talking about, I have no idea.

  • Sammy

    *no idea I have 😉

  • dudders

    some people just fart, and then it becomes art.

  • an

    ah, well, nice try boys…you could get the same effect by brewing up some stomach acids and placing the film there…at least you don’t have to go through your doody to get it! and yes, if you have an electron microscope, everything looks much more interesting…one day someone may invent wearable electron microscopes…the power of vision a million times. I guess these guys got their 15 minutes tho…

  • lots of fuss for a poorly played failed experiment. no doubt they expected to see some fun color on those film strips. Instead they saw just noise so instead they made some EM pictures, because every other second boring thing in the world looks like some 3d rorschach plot under EM ^^

  • J

    “unexpected three-dimensionality”…”Each frame looks like a scientific image taken from a microscope.”

    Maybe that’s because just two paragraphs ago, the commentary itself mentions that “once excreted, the negatives were recovered, cleaned, and studied in detail by an electron microscope”

    Maybe they look like scientific images taken from a microscope because, you know, they /are/ scientific images taken from a microscope.

    You get the feeling that the author is totally wowed simply because she has never seen an electron micrograph before.

  • uvyuvyuv

    artists are dumb

  • unnamed extra no.3

    Of course! FartArt they call it!

  • Emmaybee

    These comments just made my day.

  • Franco

    Those pictures look like shit.

  • you people are gullible

    hahaha. load of crap. you people are talking about this like its real.

  • Anything goes

    now why don’t they put it deep in their ass. hole

  • david

    This is not art, this is retarded.

  • jon

    Just because someone rents a gallery doesn’t mean they deserve an article written about them.

  • Ali Gator

    Rob Schneider is …… a piece of digested film !

  • What is the point of this project? What is the scientific importance and how can they explore their digestive system this way? Inner organism can be damaged from swallowing indecomposable objects, and the negative effect can occur even after its natural removal from the body. From this article it can be understood that those people suffer from idleness and call it art.

  • trisha

    So what you’re saying is, he dug through his own shit to get these images. Huh.

  • jaydee

    yes, agreed… when i take pics like that for fun in the lab i work in, which, have even more detail and 3-D, people think ‘meh’… maybe i should apply some of the ”miraculous” descriptions to my work, which, are the most impressive part of the stuff here.

  • jim

    Modern art is literally shit. And metaphorically too of course.

  • roland roldan

    did not overexposed the film?

  • John

    >> but I believe the writer above may be confused as to the source of the images.

    Yes, the writer is confused. As is everyone forwarding this on social media.

    Its a cool project, but these images do not show what people think they show.

  • John

    You’d get the exact same kinds of images if you dropped the film in any mildly corrosive solution and then processed it the same way.

    Its absurd to say these images are intimate. They are the opposite of intimate. The images basically have nothing to do with the men who swallowed the film

  • Sev

    Guess you could say it was some real sh1tty art…..YEEEEEAH!

  • Barrison Hughes

    Oh my, I farted.

  • Theresa

    There’s no control of what film looks like under SEM without being digested so I’m skeptical.

  • Theresa

    Yes it doesn’t make sense how the capsule they put it into remained intact but the film was affected by the stomach enzymes?

    Also would you really ant all those chemicals applied to film on your insides? That doesn’t seem very well thought out…

  • Theresa

    There’s no control of what an SEM of film looks like that’s not digested… it could look exactly the same. I know I’ve been involved with SEM before in my PhD work.

  • Ant

    Ok. If I poo on film and then I develop it and take a picture of it with an EM, is definitely art, isn’t it?

  • Wilson Luis Santos Pires

    this is the real Shit art, rlly how do you think he got back the filme?