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Camera Obscura 2005/1-∞

November 6, 2013.Oliver.0 Likes.0 Comments

Camera Obscura 2005/1-Inf is an ongoing worldwide photography project intending to create kind of a “global puzzle”, not only connecting people but places alike with occasionally intriguing results…

Two holes of a twin-holed pinhole camera are being auctioned simultaneously on Ebay every week. The highest bidder will receive a cardboard box camera loaded with a piece of unexposed sheet of 5×7 Inch b/w film. After punching a hole with the enclosed needle, half of the sheet film will be exposed. The person then sends the camera on to the highest bidder for the second hole who then does the second exposure. Afterwards everything will be returned to the initial point and the originator of the project who is showcasing the cameras along with the developed prints in a local gallery and displaying a digitized version on the internet site of the project as well.

The result is a continuous series of parallel exposures, revealing  astonishing global views. Because of the minimal distance between the two holes the two photos overlap partly, so that a joint picture emerges, created by two people in different parts of the world. None of them knows about the other, what idea they had in mind and what fragment of a moment has been transferred to the film. Having said that, it’s probably exactly this lack of knowledge paired with its simplicity what makes this idea so appealing.

The origin of “detail”

The project is a wonderful homage to the polish artist Roman Opalka and his work 1965/1-∞. In his studio in Warsaw he began painting numbers from one to infinity. Pieces of canvas which the artist simply called “detail” has been filled with tiny painted numbers, starting in the upper left hand corner and working its way down to the lower right, taking up counting on a new one where the last left off. Each detail is the same size (resembling the size of his studio door) and has the same title, “1965 / 1 – ∞”; a project without no definable end and pretty much Opalkas life’s work, contemplating and trying to visualize time.

“All my work is a single thing, the description from number one to infinity. A single thing, a single life … the problem is that we are, and are about not to be.”

Like life itself his work was “change in process”. Have the first details been white numbers on black background did he change to grey in 1968, “because it’s not a symbolic colour, nor an emotional one”. In 1972 he decided to gradually lighten this grey background by adding one per cent more white to the ground with each passing detail, expecting to be painting virtually in white on white by the time he reached 7777777.

“My objective is to get up to the white on white and still be alive.”

The final number he painted was 5607249…

infiniti painting Roman Opalka

Roman Opalka by Sergio Calleja

{header image by Kaometet, not part of the project}

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