Tuesday, February 3, 2009

subject echo: ectoplasm!

i saw Helga Härenstam's work on Conscientious, and enjoyed checking out her project "House of the Extraordinary." i especially liked reading the images in this series as contemporary, color explorations of the way technology and light can manifest as creepy and miraculous.

this reminded me of a book a friend recently gave me: Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible 1840 - 1900 (from the SFMoMA exhibition). the book explores the early use of photography to capture "the realm beyond our everyday vision," from space photography to microscopic particles, X-rays, and even spirit photography.

Helga Härenstam's image (top) instantly reminded me of this 1912 photograph of a medium (and her viewer) from Brought to Light.

whether photography is attempting to capture ectoplasm, the human spirit, or the connection that happens the moment the shutter clicks, i think the best of it is still searching for that realm beyond our everyday vision.