Art Students Become Human Cameras by Eating 35mm Film

Kingston University photography students Luke Evans and Josh Lake wanted to do something unusual for their final major project, so they decided to turn themselves into human cameras by eating 35mm film squares and letting their bodies do the rest. After eating and pooping out the film in the dark, they used fixer on the film and then scanned the film using an electron microscope. They are currently exhibiting massive prints of the images that show every detail of what their bodies did.

(via Creative Review via Gizmodo)

Image credits: Photographs by Luke Evans and Josh Lake

  • rtfe

    kingston university is in the uk. typical dumb swine.

  • seventhseal

    Exactly what I thought when I read this.  You would have to create the exposure, then eat the “film” of whatever type (hopefully not toxic) in the dark.  Maybe you could experiment with what you could eat to help it “develop”  and  “fix”..  Silver isn’t that toxic.  But I think their point was more conceptual – and seemingly critical of even their own concept in a new type of deconstructionist thinking of art and human interaction.

  • Marine72311

    There’s nothing photographic about it. You can accomplish the same thing by taking an electron microscope and using it on the pieces of corn that come out the south end of your body. This was just plain childish and immature.

  • Keith Anthony

    Would fstop be fart stop?

  • Prshae

    What crappy photos!

  • Lupe Diaz

    how was the film pieces processed? in the gut? the it was thrown into a fixer after it was excreted in the darkroom? of course I know the scanning part. They appear to look like negatives.

  • John Stock

    This is just stupid. It’s not photography or even art. It’s just silly.

  • freakqnc .((•)).

    This is an insights onto “how to take closeup photos of Uranus” using two a$$h0les :P Sorry guys… conceptual art might have been “stretched” a lot for years, but BS is still BS and can be spotted by those in the know as well as those who aren’t ;D Nice try, who do you think you are Piero Manzoni? LOL! Next time try to use more your head rather than your…  well, I don’t want to be too corny now! :)

  • John

    …At the end of the day they aren’t competing for the most creative art prize – they are going for the top Darwin Award

  • bob cooley

    “Photography” derives from the Greek (phōtos) “light” and (graphé) “drawing”, together “drawing with light”.

    While they took micro-photos of their fixer residue and fecal matter, the swallowing of film had nothing to do with “making themselves into human cameras” – its not photography, conceptual or otherwise, its a gimmick.

    The final product fails to evoke any kind of emotional response, other than – “meh – really?”  Plenty of gimmicks get hung in galleries; that doesn’t make it qualitative.

  • Tim Berry

    A sphincter says what???  That is so old school.  I’m gonna swallow an SD card and take multiple digital shots!

  • Matthew Revlucien McDonald


  • Guestarino

    I’m surprised by how challenging this is for some of you. Just look at the photo of the images hanging in the show. They are relatively engaging visual images mounted and hung on the wall of a gallery. I won’t defend them as great works of art because for me they’re not, but as art objects they’re very conventional. 

    I would like for someone to explain to me how this is not art. What makes a thing a work of art in the first place? 

    This is a simplification probably, but when someone takes a photograph they look at the world through a viewfinder and “select” moments from it. Is this really any different from looking through the eye piece of an electron microscope and selecting a slice of what’s displayed to become a photograph? 

    The least interesting part of this project for me is the fact that the film travelled through the artists’ bodies. Because it seems a little gimmicky and I’m not sure how much it effects the image in the end… Or even what’s really at stake conceptually. I mean, why swallow film? Why not something else? Because they did choose film, it seems like this project is about photography and questioning what a photograph is. This is probably a good line of questioning for a student of photography, but for me, it’s boring and I really don’t care. That said, it seems to have sparked an interesting conversation here at least. 

  • Charlie Rydesma

    yeah, but so what, it looks really cool!

  • Peter Koval

    It’s so 1992.  Yes, post-modern conceptual.  Gimmicky, yes. My guess is they never ate the film in the first place, but as Guestarino suggests, has opened up dialogue once again about what is photography, albeit circa the early 90’s.

    The suggestion that it’s film that passed through the body is enough to make your imagination wonder.  Realistically, it’s just micro shots.  Not much different from aerial satellite photos.

    Their project is successful whether or not it’s photography or how they did it, because their concept has generated so much dialogue.

    How many of you can say your photos generate that much interest?

  • Guestarino

    Good comment Peter. Again if there’s anyone out there who feels that this project does not qualify as art I would appreciate it if you would take the time to explain why you feel that way. Seriously. I wont argue with you, I just want to understand your point of view.

  • Noel Oatley

    why did they need an electron microscope? If there was an image all you would need is an enlarger. If the film was big enough to find in a turd it was big enough to print traditionally or scan on a regular scanner.

  • nimbuschick

    I would think the edges would cut your insides.

  • Throwingit

    Yeah, there’s no way that this is possible. Film grain could not resolve this kind of details. What a hoax!

  • Knur

    anus-aperture f/1.2 = 100% gay

  • Knur

    Imagine the smell in that dark room.

  • guest

    Really? The images are stunning and the process by which they were achieved is completely original and challenges the traditions of photography. So fuck off, you come up with something original, asshole.

  • anonymous

    What waste of scientific tool that could have been used for something more substantial. Maybe it’s about time that art students are required to take a few pre-req science classes.

  • Steve

    They look like most microscope pictures too me. They show how bad are your digestive system to the film material.

  • Steve

    They look like most microscope pictures too me. They show how bad are your digestive system to the film material.

  • Suman0102

     you could never get a final product like this without an EM. The image taken by an EM is based on how the electrons bounce off of the surface. So in a way, these images aren’t really of what was photographed/processed by the digestive tract. Its just an image of the surface of the film AFTER it was “processed” in the intestines.

  • Michael Laudij

    The description in this article is vague and misleading, they did not produce pictures from the inside of their bodies… THEY PRODUCED IMAGES OF THE FILM ITSELF (using an Electron Microscope), after it had passed through their system. The resulting image is a close-up of the film, altered by its passage, with bodily residue held under fixer, NOT A PICTURE OF THE INSIDE OF OUR BODIES MAGNIFIED. 

  • newamericanclassic

    If they didn’t have that handy electron microscope.. It would look like unprocessed film that someone ate and eventually shit out.

    The things I would photograph if I had my hands on an electron microscope..

  • Flgraphics

    this stinks

  • Slash_Cynic

    More like farts.

  • yummania

    is it a different idea? yes. is it creative? well somehow.
    is it art? no way.i`ve seen better experiments done inside your body from this guy: all the invents are to be so much overrated i think.still congrats to their courage to harm theirselves.

  • lindsay

    I think this article is ruining what the actual thought process was and what these two guys were aiming to do. I’m sure they never called themselves “The Human Cameras”. 

  • Gusisdown

    I think you are all jealous and all think the same thing, I wish I did that. this is innovative, new and unlike anything else. think how much the same old photographs or images go round and round. and for first year students? holy shit : )

  • Marc W.

    Ok, but did they fix unexposed film and then scan that film to compare? I bet the result would be the same. =/

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  • yeahright

    in no way do i believe the film would have captured crisp images like that

  • emily

    These comments are absurd. Is this what people are really like? Why are ALL the comments about the PROCESS being weird? The images stand on their own. They wouldnt have even needed to tell us how they made them and they still would have been successful. They look like paintings and the compositions are very pleasing to look at. Who cares how they got it that way. Even more interesting is the fact that they left the end result up to chance and it was a success. Bravo for creating a few pieces that are lovely to look at. The rest of you can suck it. You’re all closed minded and acting how generations of the past have acted against ALL “controversial” art. In the history books  you’ll be the group of individuals they refer to as the ignorant public opinion while the rest of us are taking it as inspiration and moving on with our lives. 

  • Mark Osterman

    Thank you for that. 

  • Harry_Dillema


  • woodcarver

    I’m confused. If I swallow a piece of wood and take a picture of it afterwards – would that be photography or carpentry?

  • Ann SEM

    excuse me but SCANNING electron microscope takes pics of surfaces, at the minute level. they havnet shown the result of the film’s exposure, which I suspect didn’t work. But he,y they went with what they got, and good luck to them for their orginality and creativity

  • Ann SEM

    excuse me but SCANNING electron microscope takes pics of surfaces, at the minute level. they havnet shown the result of the film’s exposure, which I suspect didn’t work. But he,y they went with what they got, and good luck to them for their orginality and creativity

  • dbm4891

    These images looks “crappy”.

    See what I did there? =D

  • Artistocrat2

    Wouldn’t you also have to ingest the 35mm film in a darkroom as to not pre-expose it? Especially if you’re cutting squares off from it. There is no light inside some one to expose the prints to get the shots, no moment of a single shutter release to differentiate one frame from the next. If you didn’t have a darkroom you would have to swallow an entire cartridge of 35mm film. Presumably it would unwind within you, be “used” and then have to be wound back up or be surgically removed otherwise you’d be defacating something 2-3 ft long with a rigid case made of metal attached. This is more than highly unlikely; traditional photography aside, 35mm is still bound by the fact that it is light sensitive until developed. If its 35mm film, it’s not digital and not as easy to manipulate.

  • jt

    I’m betting these guys didn’t know how to use an electron microscope, and probably went to some tech to do it for them.  So shouldn’t the guy who actually created the images be getting some of the credit for them?

  • Thomas Lüthi

    Whether or not they put a lot of thought in it is not the issue at hand; what they achieved, however, is a discussion (at least on this page) about what the nature of photography is or should be; can you really only call it a photograph if it’s been made and processed in a “traditional” way? Also, they give the phrase “image processing” itself a whole new meaning; after all, most of the photos that have been processed using, say, Instagram, are basically nothing but shit. Of course, the title “human camera” is highly debatable, but still their work is creative and original, and it’s not so much about the final product, which looks just like any electron microscop image…

  • BertoGarcia

    Muy curiosas esas imagenes ..que bueno es la fotografia

  • Cat Morley

    Very cool but all I can think is owe!

  • Russell Case

    What you’re seeing is a photo of the physical film…the film didn’t actually take a photo inside them.

  • Arisu

    This is really cool!