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On Surgery



Created by Russell Sheaffer and Aaron Michael Smith, On Surgery attempts to replicate the physical process of bone surgery on the body of 16mm film stock.

        By wetting raw, unprocessed 16mm color negative film, separating out the photosensitive emulsion from the base of the film using a medical scalpel, and then reapplying the layers, the only images visible are representative of the scars left on the film. The music for the film is taken entirely from the sound of the projection of the 16mm film and from a reading of one of Sheaffer’s post-surgical diary entries.

       On Surgery is the fourth installation in the Acetate Diary Tetralogy (which also includes Blood on the Window, Broken Jaw, and the eponymous Acetate Diary), a series of collaborative works that explore the intersections of trauma, memory, and abstraction.

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