Action is the Absence Inaction (Double Negative) is a two-channel video installation that appropriates an excerpt from Andy Warhol’s Empire. Each channel is created from an algorithm that determines which pixels have changed from one frame to the next. Those that remain the same are set to green in the left channel; those that change are set green in the right channel and horizontally inverted to create a mirror image. The silhouette of the building in each channel is thus made visible by the change or repetition in each frame.
The changes tracked by the software result not only from the minute changes in Warhol's mise en scene (subtle changes in shadow and ambient lighting, building lights flickering, etc.), but also from imperfections in an un-restored print (mechanical, biological, and chemical decay), the provenance of which has been disputed . The resulting frame-by-frame analysis of Warhol’s film is a digital artifact which retains a "memory" of it's material past.
During the filming of Empire, factory acolyte Henry Romney urged Warhol to pan, claiming there wasn't enough action. The title of this piece is Henry's response to Warhol's question, "What is the definition of action?"