Camera Consciousness

Orectic Object # 4, 1989, unique cameraless silver print on gold paper, 48 x 72 inches.

In !988, I wrote an article in the May-June issue of Flash Art titled Soul Catcher: The Camera Obscura as Model of Consciousness. The article describes the artist’s studio as a windowless chamber and the artist’s work as constructing a view of the world beyond the chamber. In this view of art history, the progression of art, especially from painting to photography and new media, is marked by the somewhat futile attempt to break through the walls of the chamber by blurring the line between art and life. This conceptual framework was the basis of my work for the next decade.

Black Heart 5, 1991, unique silver print, 20 x 24 inches

I made my studio into a camera. My work was made inside the camera without referencing what was beyond it. In this way, I developed methods for constructing an alternate reality inside the chamber, a camera consciousness. During that period, I developed a number of de novo photographic methods employing free-standing lenses and unusual light sources and at one point cut an aperture to the outside and installed a military grade prism and shutter to project light into the darkroom where I made direct positive photograms from the deconstructed sunlight. (below)

Shot in the Dark 1, Cibachrome print, 16 x 20 inches, 1993

In the 1989 Working in Brooklyn exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, I made a darkroom in the museum exhibition space where, using found eyeglasses as enlarging lenses, I produced a 60 foot x 8 foot mural which was then displayed in the space in which it was made, lit by the light that exposed the images. (below)

Soul Catcher, 1989, silver prints on gold paper, 13 prints 139 x 193 cm, 55 x 76 inches each, steel, magnets, crystal lamp, eyeglasses, installation view The Brooklyn Museum.

Second Sight, found eyeglasses, ball chain, alligator clips. Installation viiew, The Koffler Gallery, May 8- June 15 1997.

Dieffenbachia, 2019, silver print from hand made negative, 20 x 24 inches

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