The Hamburger Presets

2011, 7:55 min, color, sound, HD video

Made the same year as Digital Fireplace Upside Down, The Hamburger Presets also plays with the familiar visuals of advertising. Here, Bell-Smith takes a slowly rotating, panning shot of a hamburger and, through repetition, extends it to the absurd length of nearly eight minutes. Each repeated shot is processed with standard image-altering computer presets ("night vision," "bullet holes," "warp speed," etc.), creating variations on the theme. Where these presets are intended to impose specific meaning on the image—one seems to suggest 16mm film and another a pixellated video game—Bell-Smith strips them of their capacity to do so with the repetition, colloquialism, and emotive emptiness of the burger. As the tonality of the image changes, the hamburger is increasingly objectified, reflecting the way that desire is conditioned by media in an image-saturated world.