In 1993, a guy named Harrod Blank had a dream in which he drove around in a camera-covered car taking pictures of people staring at his camera-mobile. When he woke up, he decided to make the car a reality, and spent the next two years designing and building the thing. In 1995 he completed the Camera Van complete with a working camera to capture the expressions of onlookers. Read more…
How far can you go in protecting your gear before people start thinking you have serious issues? We’re not exactly sure, but the guy in the photo above probably crossed that line quite a few filters ago. Thankfully (or sadly, depending on how you see it) the guy isn’t actually an uber-paranoid photographer, but just someone from the BorrowLenses team having a little fun. Read more…
Here’s one of those “I could do that! Yeah, but you didn’t” things: a cat named Cooper recently published a book filled with his photographs, titled “Cat Cam“. Basically, a couple named Michael and Deirdre Cross decided to attach a micro camera to their cat’s collar, automatically snapping photographs every two minutes. The book has received pretty positive reviews from both critics (Good Morning America, People Magazine, etc…) and customers. Read more…
“I Am Sitting in a Room” is one of the best known works of experimental music composer Alvin Lucier. In the piece, he records himself speaking, plays it back while re-recording it, and repeated until the words become unintelligible and simply “the pure resonant harmonies and tones of the room itself”.
YouTube user canzona decided to pay homage to Lucier, and “covered” the piece in his own room using YouTube as the medium.
I started this project exactly 1 year ago, almost to the hour. The final version is a lot different than I thought it would be, I was expecting a lot more digital video noise, and a lot less digital audio noise. Let this be a lesson, though, always be careful how you convert your digital media!
An homage to the great Alvin Lucier, this piece explores the ‘photocopy effect’, where upon repeated copies the object begin to accumulate the idiosyncrasies of the medium doing the copying. Full words: I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice as well as the image of myself, and I am going to upload it to YouTube, rip it from YouTube, and upload it again and again, until the original characteristics of both my voice and my image are destroyed. What you will see and hear, then, are the artifacts inherent in the video codec of both YouTube and the mp4 format I convert it to on my computer. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a digital fact, but more as a way to eliminate all human qualities my speech and image might have.
Here’s the original video before the 1,000 copies:
There’s some serious artiness going on over at MoMA. Artist Marina Abramović has a new performance called “The Artist is Present” that involves her sitting silently across from museum visitors. The show runs from March 14 to May 31 and, with the exception of a few days, Abramović sits from before the museum opens and continuously through when the museum closes. MoMa also provides a live stream of her performing.
So how does this have anything to do with photography? Photographer Marco Anelli has been creating portraits of the participants for MoMa and uploading them to a MoMA set on Flickr. Below each portrait is also the length of time that person sat in front of Marina. At the time of this writing, there have been 759 fascinating portraits uploaded.
Most people participating sit in front of Abramović for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. One woman sat there for a whopping six and a half hours.
There’s also a good number of people with teary eyes, whether from the stress of sitting and staring, or from being moved emotionally somehow through the performance:
Wikipedia has a description of a previous performance Abramović did with her ex-boyfriend Ulay (who happens to be the man crying above in the upper left hand corner pictured here):
To create this “Death self,” the two performers devised a piece in which they connected their mouths and took in each other’s exhaled breaths until they had used up all of the available oxygen. Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual’s ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it.
For more on this performance, check out Jason Kottke’s coverage in which he documents interesting happenings (including an appearance by Lou Reed).