wide-eyed camera obscura
September 19, 2009 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Every week, two holes are released. The cardboard camera obscura they belong to travels from one participant of the project to the next, both take their picture on the same sheet of film, juxtaposing (and partly blending) two places somewhere in the world. Over the weeks and years, in an ongoing and potentially infinite process, a collective world-wide photographic artwork is arising: Camera Obscura 1-∞ (paying homage, as the artists state, to Roman Opalka's lifelong project "Counted Paintings: 1965 / 1 – ∞"). It offers some exquisite binocularism with fairly wide eye-distance: New York/Berlin; Leipzig/Cologne; Melbourne/Stuttgart.
posted by megob (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
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This is really nifty.
posted by kenko at 5:11 PM on September 19, 2009

^ Word. (2 comments and counting)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:43 PM on September 19, 2009

Wow! This is so wonderful. I'm not sure I totally understand how it's organized via ebay, etc., but it's a stunningly beautiful project. Thanks so much for this post!
posted by taz at 2:17 AM on September 20, 2009

not sure I totally understand how it's organized

I realized later that I was a bit sparse on information. The point with this project, as I see it, is that anyone can take part, not some obscure group of "participants" as could seem from my words. The holes are put on auction on ebay, the two winners take their pictures with the same camera, which is forwarded from one person to the next, than back to the organizers. Despite ebay being involved as a platform, the project is non-profit, at least I hope so.
Furthermore, a link got mixed up. Leipzig/Cologne is here.
posted by megob at 2:56 AM on September 20, 2009

I love the Leipzig/Cologne pick! I saw it when perusing the gallery, and thought about pointing it out... you should contact jessamyn and ask her to fix that link for you. :)

I do understand a bit more about the ebay method now, though I have to confess I'm a bit annoyed by the people who buy both "halves" and just repeat the same image (and, to a lesser degree, those who buy both halves or arrange with friends to get both in order to impose a specific structure or symmetry)... though know (I'm pretty sure, anyway) I should be looser and more zen about these interpretations of the original idea. :)
posted by taz at 6:19 AM on September 20, 2009

you should contact jessamyn

Thanks for the hint! : ) The link is already fixed.
And yes - just doubling the picture seems a bit insipid to me as well. Unexpected constellations are much better.
posted by megob at 7:24 AM on September 20, 2009

Thanks for the post, megob.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:41 AM on September 20, 2009

That's not a camera obscura, that's a pinhole camera.
A camera obscura projects onto a screen, not a piece of film,
and can have either a pin hole or a lens.
Camera obscuras predate photography and do not take photographs.
posted by w0mbat at 7:56 PM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

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