Apparently, in 2006, some dudes made the world's largest photograph using the world's largest camera.
To be exact, the blacked out the inside of an abandoned aircraft hanger and knocked a small hole in one door to create a camera obscura.
Then they used umpty-billion gallons of liquid emulsion to sloppily sensitize an enormous piece of canvas, and the blabbity million gallons
of developer, and wubbity billion gallons of fixer delivered with firehoses and blah blah blah and now there's this immense fucking thing.
The hole, we learn, was Precision Machined from a Thin Sheet of Titanium which just made me roll my eyes. They could have just driven a nail
through the door, it wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference. There is in general a lot of blather about the technical challenges but
honestly this sort of thing is a logistics problem, not a photography problem. The photography problems are all trivial.
The photo, on the one hand, is kind of cool. It's technically just terrible, because they seem to have literally just used paint rollers to apply
emulsion to it's all uneven and you can see the "brushwork" clearly. The subject is, naturally, just whatever happened to be outside
the door so it's some runways and a control tower.
On the other hand, what the hell? Who cares? It's basically just the world's largest ball of string, an object interesting literally only
because of its size and uniqueness. The pictures I have seen of it suggest that the quality is actually so low it does not even really
read as a photograph. It's just a sort of set of blotches and splashes, as if Jackson Pollock had started out trying to paint
an airport for a bit before the amphetamines kicked in, but he only had grey paint.
It does not seem to function as a photograph. There is no sense of presence, no visceral reaction as-if you were.. at some airport.
This is probably made worse by the fact that it is, for obvious reasons, a negative. So.. it's a giant fuzzy blotchy negative of an abandoned airport. At least they seem to have turned it right-side up. It seems, essentially, to be the sedimentary remains of a performance art piece, in which legions of
volunteers were recruited to to a bunch of pretty tedious labor.
Seriously, look at this thing. Who gives a shit?
I suppose it's inevitable that the photography press will, from time to time, drag this stupid dog out and write it up for slow news days, but really,
what the hell?
The crowd doesn't seem to be too interested in it. It's kind of cool, I guess? Where is it now?ReplyDelete
Have you ever come across the work of Abelardo Morell? Now there's someone who has made this idea of "room as a camera obscura" work, albeit on a sensible scale. He even has a mobile version, a "tent camera". Worth checking out:ReplyDelete
I saw a video once (on Numberphile?) in which they got the first 1 million digits of pi printed on a long roll of paper and then took it to an airport and unrolled it along an unused runway. Seems similar somehow. Maybe because of the airport connection, but also because of the charming pointlessness of it.ReplyDelete
Sort of a Shroud of Turin vibe to it.ReplyDelete
I was thinking beeple.Delete
Also, isn't that the world's largest *negative*?ReplyDelete
Good point. When inverted, one may see more clearly a giant sunflower, and statue of liberty. Abandoned theme park? (Molitor, do one of your forensic audits. Just the giant photo, not those dumb fucks milling around under for the blue light special)Delete
It's easily done: just crop the image and invert it. And, yes, it becomes a lot clearer what you're looking at (though not *that* much clearer...).Delete