On view through Saturday, March 12th
Slemmons Gallery at Epiphany Center for the Arts
You cannot step into the same river twice…for other waters are continually flowing on.
—Heraclitus, b 544 BC
From the vast array of imaging devices in the Slemmons camera archive, we chose a Radiopticon postcard projector (ca. 1900-30) and an 1893 Kodak BullsEye #2 box camera to guide us into photographic history. Intervening with 21st century upgrades and film, we revived these antique photographic tools, embracing the glitches and discombobulations that were revealed in this form of time travel.
Inviting the viewer to look backward into the lens, we created an intimate theater inside the Radiopticon. Vintage postcards were projected through it, re-photographed with an iPhone and then animated. A soundtrack of resonant dripping reminds us of mythic and spiritual associations of water as source — containing, carving and re-forming our own blurred visions of the past.
To look through a now-obsolete camera is to reflect upon human histories. Layering the view in time, we photographed the oak lined banks of the Milwaukee River with the Kodak BullsEye #2 camera. Retrofitting the camera to function created overlapping exposures and unpredictable intervals. Re-photographing the film negative with a hand-held iPhone in panorama mode formed undulations of wavering focus, distance and movement, evoking the ebb and flow of human mediation on the land and water.