I've finished and experimented with my extended cube camera. It takes quite a long exposure due to the small aperture of the pinholes (.o16") and long focal length (5"). I can spend up to 30 minutes waiting for the film to expose. The resulting images are detailed and sharp, for pinhole photography at least. The negatives are approximately five inches square, but I plan in the end to scan and resize the best set to one inch square each. I will make stamps out of these and create a large scroll that sequences all six stamps 4096 times (the rotational variance of six squares). I think it might take some time, and definitely some money for the paper, so everything is on hold for now.
My most recent pinhole camera. It is in the building stage after having been in the design stage for months (my projects crawl along at very slow paces, often having long gestational periods in my sketchbooks). Originally, I had planned to make a very small camera, a cube at its center with cylindars (35 mm film cannisters) distancing the 6 pinholes from six film planes. Somehow that idea never sat quite right, and then we moved across the state. As the dust settled and I became familiar with my semi-rural surroundings, I realized that I wanted a bigger, blockier camera. As the weeks progress, I hope to finish the camera, expose some negatives and make some prints. I'm not going to explain what I plan to do with the images at this point, as that will be the subject of another entry. For now, it should suffice to say that I will most likely avoid any deadpan display of imagery.
The Icosahedron Camera is finished, more or less. I have experimented once with it, aside from shooting with the prototypical tetrahedron sections (see previous post). The day before moving from San Antonio to Nacogdoches, I loaded all twenty sections, tied up the camera, and ventured out to the common eating area outside the cafeteria at UTSA. This area is called the "Sombrilla." I can only guess that it has something to do with shade, because I don't see any broad Latin hats out there. For me, it was an ideal place to take advantage of the unique qualities of the tetrahedron sections. The overhead architecture, which lets in plenty of natural light, distorts nicely along the folds of the tetrahedron, to which the film is conforming. Thirteen of the twenty worked out nicely. Not bad for a first attempt. I'll publish samples when I get them printed. For now, here's a picture of the finished camera.
It seems incumbent for every visual artist to have a website. I have a blogger account, and I think that's as good as it's going to get. I'm currently working up a proposal for The Present Group (thepresentgroup.com) Briefly, TPG is a place for collectors to subscribe to art. Four artists are selected each year to produce multiples for these collectors. I am an artist producing multiples, hence my proposal, which is as follows:
Part 1: Tetrahedron/Icosahedron Camera. Twenty tetrahedrons (four sided polyhedron)when put together form one icosahedron (twenty sided polyhedron). Each tetrahedron has one "outer" face with an opening for a pinhole aperture. This aperture focuses light from outside the tetrahedron into the tetrahedron. Photo-sensitive material inside the tetrahedron records the focused light, thus making an image. This light is distorted as it bends across the surface of the folded photo-sensitive material creating an unexpected image when flattened in the finished product. Configuring the tetrahedrons as an icosahedron makes a camera with twenty available lenses/exposures. Each tetra-camera will be labeled with a number of 1-20 for documentary and procedural purposes.
Status of Part 1:
In progress. I have tested one of the finished tetrahedron cameras and have printed the image as a collotype duo tone. All of the cameras have been built and I am currently trying to solve the problem designing a system that would enable the cameras to be joined as an icosahedron for the purpose of taking on site for exposure, with the ability to be taken apart for the purposes of loading and unloading film, and for storage.
Part 2: Subject Matter. Architecture of the downtown of a major urban center. The reasoning for this is for the crowded, high-rise architecture. These particular cameras distort straight lines in an intriguing way. Since some of the cameras point towards the sky, these cameras would still have images from the tall buildings. It wouldn't be important to have a specific urban center. In fact it would be best to have no signifying markers in the chosen spot.
Part 3: Exposure Procedure. After determining the sight, position the camera and begin to expose each section one by one, in sequence of the numbers assigned to each camera, thus producing a number of images documenting and distorting the surrounding space.
Part 4: Printing Procedure. There will be twenty images, each printed in an edition (edition size will be determined by number of collectors divided by twenty). The images will be printed on paper measuring approximately 22 x 44." The process for printing would entail using digitally output color separations (4 for each image) to "burn" screens for making screen prints. This would be done in contract with a master printer in a print shop. Images would be signed, titled, numbered, and framed. Cost would be determined in consultation with shop.
Experimental Justification: Though I have extensive experience printing, I have not yet collaborated with a professional print shop to create a series prints at this scale or of this size.