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The Medium is the Message

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 9 Apr 2015, 01:22

A camera is like a human eye.

The basic plan

light from world --> focus --> image falls on sensors

But photography can work without any focusing. If we put refractors -- glass, resin, minerals and so on -- directly on film and expose it briefly to light, something will be recorded. In that case refractors have replaced the lens and it's them we are photographing.

So, literally, the medium is the message.

This can produce striking results. Visit the website of Alan Jaras for example.

This reminds me of an experiment I tried many years ago. Photographic plates preceded the film which came before digital cameras.

If you are not familiar with plates, they are just like film but on glass not plastic. Plates were the staple of photography until films came along and spoiled it.

Just as (and rightly) some still prefer film to digital, back then plates were still around, because some people preferred them.

What was the experiment? We put a couple of plates up on the roof, in a a plastic bag, and left them there a couple of months. Later, when we remembered, we fetched them down and developed them. In hope of what?

Cosmic rays. Some energetic particle that may have set off from a supernova billions of light years away and billions of years ago, could have arrived on our roof and created a record on our plates.

And one had.

No lens needed. The universe is on your rooftop.




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