Obskur V.1

Obskur V.1


Experimental Video | 03’25” | 2017

In this experimental piece a mobile phone is used to film the ground glass of a large format camera. A bridge is built between technologies over time, and questions about ways and speeds of looking as well as the connections and gaps between photography and filmic media come up.

Obskur V.1 has been added to the „Corpus“ of the artistic research project www.resettheapparatus.net, in the category ANALOGITAL.

Obskur V.1 is an ongoing experiment, where a smartphone is used to film the surroundings through a large format camera. This apparatus is in its function still very close to the Camera Obscura. The light is being captured by a ground glass, a rough and milky glass plane, necessary to set up the image. The phone captures this „live“-projection of the outside world, before it is shot as a photography. Because of filming the ground glass and due to the funcion of a typical smartphone camera, the circle of the image appears smaller and with more contrast.
The lines on the glass remind of measurement, as in surveying land, architectural or crime scene photography and furthermore question the possibility of truth or objectivity in phototechnologies. Especially absurd is the combination of filming this rough glass plane of a maximum-resolution camera, with the weak technology of a phone, which on the other hand claims to be HD.
The black fabric, which is necessary to be able to see the image on the glass, is also present in the form of the presentation of Obskur V.1. The spectator should be in a similar situation as the photographer – having to get inside the fabric in order to see the projection. One dives into a very personal show of images and forgets about the outside world, that is still happening around him or her. So the footage is projected inside of a box, closed by a black fabric tube. The current selection of images is inviting to free associating, discovering and relating to what one sees.
Between the analog, mechanic phototechnique and the nowadays common use of phone cameras, there is not only a historical bridge of meaning, and not only a reminder of the common technological root and process of lens-based media, photography and film. Questions come up about the materiality and localization of photographic image today, ways of looking at visual media and about the dimensions and shifting of time in taking and/or looking at pictures.