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Absence captures one of the many moments we miss in nature either because we are absent, or because we are disengaged in a way that causes us not to take notice of our surroundings. It depicts just such a moment in which a flock of birds sitting on treetops fly off the page.

Traditionally, watermarks are created by using a physical mark or shape made from copper wire that is sewn on to the surface of the mould. These marks displace fiber when a sheet of paper is made, creating a thinner area where the mark is, on the finished sheet. This thinner area allows light to pass through it, making it more visible and hence creating a watermark.

The physical marks used for Absence started off first as fifty progressive drawings that were later vectorized and laser cut at the UI Biology department from a plastic called Delrin. Fifty of these marks were cut and attached to the mould, to create fifty sheets with slightly different watermarks on each one. These sheets were made four to a frame to account for damage while sheetforming. The best of each frame was photographed and strung together in Adobe After Effects, repeating each frame twice. The frames were then edited to create a four-second animation. The link is:

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