Moon Light drawing Image 7174
Image 7174 bears some similarity to the trace line of an insect as it moves manically back and forth in flight or something that you might do if you were talking on the phone to someone whilst half your mind is preoccupied by something else but unclear as to what exactly. The difference here is that the image seems to have more depth and of course is naturally reversed with the line being white or bluish in colour while the background is a deep almost infinite black. It also has references to particle physics and the decaying particle traces resulting from atomic nuclei photographed during particle accelerator collisions.
This may be an over extreme examination of the image here discussed yet the elemental line drawing does have a number of related references, and it is the purity of the line and the elements that construct this image that makes it of interest.
Once we understand the image we are observing is derived from the manipulated light of the full moon then we have a slightly different understanding or admiration for the delicacy of movement inherent within the image as it floats in the vacuum of deep space to be then captured down here on earth.
Modern image making traditionally requires a biro or a pencil, paints or such like to convey the users emotion directly into a mark on paper or canvas that then becomes preserved and solid. Photography on the other hand is usually a way to capture everyday standard images, any images and would not normally be concerned or connected to a way of producing drawings. Eastman’s approach takes a modern day medium such as the digital camera and uses it in a highly minimal yet precise way to produce complex assemblages of line recorded onto digital chip by a means of directing moonlight towards and through the lens, either deliberately in a controlled manner or wildly in a more haphazard random and abstract manner.
Einstein once famously commented “the moon does not happen to appear only when we look for it”, in an argument about quantum mechanics, that the presence of the experimenter or onlooker had a profound effect on the experiment, enough to vastly change its outcome. The moon of course is always there, or at least we assume it is, constantly reflecting the gaze of all who view it, like a large dusty mirror. The moon as observed by Newton is always falling, but falling in such a way that it falls around the earth.
Moonlight is a reflection of sunlight and is of course is the primary ingredient of all images. In essence this renders the light to be arguably in its purest form, slightly subdued after being ricocheted by way of the moon and then delicately and finely adjusted as it then enters the receptacle of the camera body. The image here is purely a beam of light and otherwise devoid of detail, colour or emotion, which in many ways lends the picture a highly purest ideology.
In his book on the philosophy of physics Heisenberg comments that if atoms and molecules devoid of colour or smell are the basic building blocks of reality then all of what we see in the world is but a tapestry of complex illusion. Likewise art or images that tend toward a minimalist approach convey this element of fundamental reality perfectly by using the very basic make up of time and space to produce the work and thereby avoid the general clutter and distractions afforded by other means of image production.
James Henshaw February 2016
Camera (side view)
The thought process for this camera evolves from a line of manipulated cameras that go back to the early 1990 s, in particular a standard camera converted with a small hole in the back face so that it would make images from behind. Although this was never used to create an image at the time it served to influence further ideas of adjusting or tampering with the normal working system of 35mm and later larger format cameras.
The most conceptual of this series of cameras is the ‘non camera’ (2007) which is a rebuilt Cannon 35mm so that the lens, via a system of 4 mirrors looks into the back of itself to the precise point where the image would be recorded. This camera is really more of a thought experiment as the introduction of light into the closed system would inevitably ‘fog’ the film and hence no image would be recorded. Again this type of manipulation fuelled further ideas and a number of these manipulated cameras are able to record their own ‘situation’ on film by making an image of some sort. Also the concept here of a specific camera being produced and adapted for a particular reason in order to obtain only a single image is paramount and goes in opposition of the modern photographic idea or urge to photograph everything.
The side-viewing camera is built from a 4x5 inch standard plate camera and uses a 180mm Schneider lens. The camera comprises of two black foam lined horns or light baffles. These horns act as a muffler to light, dampening any reflected light from entering into the bellows system that would fog or expose the negative film during exposure. However they do allow light to pass through the bellows precisely perpendicular to the lens-film axis. This means that, with the aid of several mirrors the camera can view ‘through itself’ out the other side into the landscape beyond. With an additional mirror placed at the exit point of the second horn (or light dampening trumpet) the camera can now view through and then back through itself , enabling a fully self contained photographic self assessment. This camera essentially has no use, it is a paradoxical conundrum designed to ‘extend’ the existential parameters of introverted photographic practice.
Six of one and ein halbes dutzend davon
The concept behind the photographs in Analogital was initially triggered by the inception of digital photography back in the late 1980’s and arguments which arose between the benefits of either analogue or digital photography and which might be the better or more truthful medium, and whether or not this discussion really mattered at all. My initial aim was to simply create a photograph which utilised both mediums separately, photographing one subject and then splicing together the two prints along a natural axis or flaw in the picture plane such as a horizon line, or in the case of the example below through the vertical 0∞ longitude meridian line in Greenwich.
C Type photographic print made using a canon 35mm AE1 analogue camera with colour negative100asa Fuji film and a colour ink jet print made with a Samsung digital (5megapixel) camera and SD card both photographed the same subject at precisely the same moment. The two different mediums were then put through their relevant separate developing processes and re-assembled using the 0∞ Longitude [meridian line] in Greenwich as the axis point for the two opposing media.
Concurrent with this meeting of two mediums (within the single technique of photography) exist points in space such as the meeting between the sea and sky or the urban cosmopolitan boundary as it abrupts with nature.
Berlin has a similar and for all intents and purposes far more radical meeting point of east and west (which in turn represents Communism v Capitalism) defined along the boundary of the Berlin wall.
This metaphor has subsequently led to a more involved idea, a collision point not only of analogue v digital, east meeting west, reality exposing imitation, philosophical presiding over conceptual or aesthetic ideals but also the infinite situated within the local, that is to say a point within a picture (if such a place can or does indeed exist) where all of these phenomena come together at one single point, perhaps momentarily, creating a multi dimensional, faceted portal, entirely encompassed within a simple rudimentary photograph.
Diagram with scheme for conceptual photograph utilising Digital ink jet, traditional ‘C’ type and Lambda print intersecting with a three dimensional object, where the relevant elements of the differing print types correspond to the nature of the subject in the photograph. The central element will then comprise all the possible photographic printing formats, including hybrid forms of intersection.
Particles interacting at a distance
A decision needed to be made regarding which side of the photograph the digital or analogue print should be dependant on the viewpoint, subject and certain philosophical or conceptual criteria informing the specific choice. In the case of the meridian line, it seemed to make sense to represent West which is normally regarded as being more affluent should be analogue (traditional, conservative and regarded now as being more snobbish). The east which is often regarded as poorer should be digital,(lower quality, cheaper and far more commonplace)
One or two of the photographs rise above this superficial and argumentative decision on (east/west[analogue/digital]) criteria and reach a much higher and more interesting speculation concerning particle physics. The image of the ocean brings together the two formats in a singular grand-unified image which was made with an older type of digital camera having a small delay before the shutter was released. This image was the only picture from approximately 300 photos in which the ocean waves of both the analogue and digital version aligned perfectly giving one single synchronised image. wave-particle duality
It is within this photo that the metaphor for a wave and particle duality come together without the need to split the formats or align them with a particular topic regarding being on one side or the other. The photograph ‘Pure Hybrid’ is another example where the split of one against the other has become irrelevant and the match of the two separate images is so close that a perfect unity is virtually obtained. Again the centre point for this photograph is the east/west division in Greenwich park (along the cobbled brick line which traverse the tarmac road) a line which is of course also arbitrary in its position but which has now become a recognised world standard in global positioning systems.
Mr. Pippin 2008