Friday, July 6, 2012

Image Laundering

The science of image laundering is far too complicated for the average person to comprehend; in fact most of us, stupefied by its amazing powers of transformation, see it as visual alchemy. How on earth could anyone have transmuted such soiled source material into this sterile antiseptic picture?

Before arriving at the final “man from glad” appearance, many years of dirt had to be carefully removed. John Charade began soiling himself as far back as 1990 while apprenticing under the notorious Brian Motelmoney, with the botched bribery of a Federal Judge. Since that time Charade has greatly crafted his dark art, engineering the corruption of an entire network of Judges and much of the financial infrastructure of government. All of that accumulated filth has been magically filtered out by Patronal Public Prevarication Inc. the image launderers hired to clean the Charade portrait, which can now be displayed publically without risk of offense or repulsion.

Does Captain Jack Nado use a bull crystalline camera?

Its only speculation but it would explain a lot. First of all, photojournalism would be the obvious place to exploit a dioptric camera, (see posts August 9th 2008 and June 23rd 2012) on the other hand that would depend entirely on the newspaper industry’s interest in portraying the bone dried truth of things. Let’s say hypothetically, if there was an interest in utilising a bull crystalline camera in the news industry it would probably be in the service of an independent newspaper of which, we believe there is only one in North America, and perhaps not coincidently, it is precisely this newspaper that employs Captain Jack Nado. WOW! It’s circumstantial but persuasive evidence!

Although there is absolutely no precedence for a dioptric field camera nor has there ever been a terrestrial sighting of such a thing, includes one in their catalogue. The item is perpetually out of stock and is listed as deliverable in an estimated 250 weeks. The following image taken from the catalogue indicates that the bull crystalline is placed on a self-mobilising extension dolly, possibly driven by a servo-motor mechanism.

If we consider the imagery it is difficult to refute the obvious conclusion that Captain Jack’s camera seems to be impervious to the residual sugary gloss the political marketers cover real-life people and events with.

Here is a comparison of a Captain Jack portrait of John Charade the Mayor of Lower Canada with a traditional photograph of the same subject.

Obviously a bull crystalline camera would not be appreciated in the animal kingdom and could even lead to understandable outrage and protest. A field dioptric camera would be somewhat perilous since it is carried around in public and exposed to unpredictable contact with animals. In this respect perhaps it is worthy of note that Captain Jack was recently run over by a mounted policeman while executing his function as press photographer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The National Enquirer of Montreal

Apparently the proprietor of the 4 “S” tabloid we used for our first bull crystalline experiment (see post June 27 2012), publishes an edition of the same newspaper in Montreal which seems to be spiritually closer to its American prototype of phantastic journalism “the National Enquirer “.

Here is an example of one of its more esoteric issues.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Learning to confect our own universes teaches us the skills required to detect those universes within which we ourselves are being confected.

Whoever Reads Bourgeois Newspapers Becomes Blind and Deaf:

Away with These Stultifying Bandages!, John Heartfield, 1932

World War I led John Heartfield to conclude that the only worthy art was that which took account of social realities. Using his bull crystalline camera (See posts August 9th 2008 and June 23rd 2012), he rephotographed newspaper imagery to capture the subjacent truths buried beneath its insidious manipulations of reality. John Heartfield believed much like Malcolm X that, "… the media control the minds of the masses…( and) …have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent…”

Though “taking account of social realities” does not necessarily mean promoting social causes, we had never believed that art should be in any kind of service. Our creative process, which generally begins with imagery that is imbued with highly focused rage allows us to progressively corrode through immediate and specific references, eventually arriving at universal, archetypal form.

Much has changed for us after having lived through a social crises and experienced first-hand the abusive, irreverent oppression of a self-serving, corrupt and violent regime. We find ourselves reluctant to abandon the specific localised references which have provoked our indignation and outrage. We are calling these raw and unseasoned pictures “Agitprop” and they have given our dioptric camera a noble and relevant purpose.

Inspired by Heartfield’s work we used our own bull crystalline camera to rephotograph the “bourgeois newspapers” of our time. The newspaper we selected is a local 4 “S” tabloid derived from the American model of phantastic journalism, “The National Enquirer”. In its role as the official voice of government, the proprietor publishes a completely free edition which is physically placed in the hands of hundreds of thousands of commuters each morning.

The front page story of the issue we have selected concerns a poster which the government’s goon squad observed in the home of Amir Khadir an opposition leader, during a routine raid of the “ideologically opposed” (known locally as “red squares”). A local peepee-caca pop music band had made the naughty poster from Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, inserting the face of the supreme ruler John Charade, on the body of a slain military soldier and the face of the opposition leader on the body of a revolutionary fighter waving a sword.

After the goon squad leaked to the media what it had observed in the opposition leader’s home, the “bourgeois newspapers” could begin to weave the gymnastic contortions necessary for the supreme ruler to appear briefly on the six o’clock news decrying the violence and intimidation implicit in the poster, and effectively displacing the highly focused and widely mediatised debate on violence from the real world of battered bodies, punctured eyes and fractured skulls to the world of cartoons.

Liberty Revisted, June 15 2012

Click on the image to see the bull crystalline view.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

John Heartfield’s Dioptric Camera.

This photograph of John Heartfield’s modified Linhof Technica from the permanent exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin seems to indicate that Heartfield may have used a Descartes inspired dioptric camera to create the powerfully revealing photographs which, appearing in weekly German illustrated magazines during the 1930’s, helped to undermine Nazi propaganda.

Judging from the photo it appears as though Heartfield did not extract the bull crystalline from the interior humours as Descartes describes in his fifth discourse. This may account for the dark and oneiric formal quality of Heartfield’s images and perhaps even for slight distortions in perspective and scale.

It is not surprising to discover that Heartfield’s photographs, which marked a distinct departure from traditional photography, were created using a bull crystalline camera. Heartfield engineered a new system of representation that radically opposed Physiognomy, the fundamental principal behind faith in the camera's ability to decipher and transcribe truth from the surface appearance of things. In contrast Heartfield’s system captured the intrinsic and otherwise invisible truths buried beneath surface.

Physiognomy was primarily concerned with the human face. The idea that the human face could be intelligible excited scientists and philosophers alike. Such an x-ray into the human soul could also function as a biological lie detector, a barometer of emotional status or as a beacon for psychological disorder. In his famous manifesto, Ich schneide und nähe Gesichter für ein Leben, John Heartfield writes "Physiognomy has taught us that if a man has a hard and downward bending nose of great length then he possesses an arrogant soul, so I will break his nose and push it upwards towards the sky to make him humble".

The photographs below show a comparison of the two opposing systems of representation at work. Alphonse Bertillon applied the fundamental principles of physiognomy to portraiture. His detailed system of anthropometry was designed to objectively discern the face of evil and to distinguish it from the face of innocence without being seduced by beauty, power and stature.

Bertillon’s system did not prove to be terribly efficient at exposing maniacal dictators who murdered and tortured millions of people, but found much more success in revealing the potential criminality of poor French citizens before their crimes had been committed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dioptric Camera

We have completed our experiments with the Bull’s eye after following Descartes instructions in the fifth Discourse (see post July 16 2008). Descartes of course preceded photography but we believe, if he hadn’t, he might have wanted to capture nature through his disembodied bull’s eye in order to steal a glimpse of the world from outside human perception. We constructed a camera obscura by removing the lens from an early 20th century paper negative field camera and portable lab. We removed the original lens and replaced it with the cystalline nucleus from the bull's eye inserted into a dark slide and taped it to the lens mount.

Our working hypothesis was the bull lens and camera obscura would permit us to photograph beyond the surface appearance of things, much as the child in the Christian Anderson’s fable The Emperor’s New Suit perceived beyond the deception of the golden gown. In order to conduct good science we were required to neutralize all factors capable of influencing the results of our experiment. We were obliged to find a subject that we could be certain harboured a deception. We therefore decided to photograph a politician, since politicians are craftsmen of manipulated perception. If the image produced by our bull crystalline camera resembled one taken with traditional photographic equipment we would know instantly that we had failed.

After much careful consideration we selected a head of state of a relatively unknown and unimportant Nordic country so as not to offend the delicate financial network that sustains our research. We are very pleased with the results of our pilot experiment with Mr. Steepen Heartpoor who is currently the Mayor of Upper Canada. The first photograph is the official Queen’s issue portrait of Mr. Heartpoor, the second is a reproduction of the first portrait using our own Bull crystalline camera obscura.

The phone is ringing off the hook, there are many, many more portraits that we have been commissioned to make but lack the time and resources to proceed as quickly as we would like, and since this is the end of the summer we must turn now and begin to prepare for the new school year, if such portraits could ever be realised they will have to wait until the summer of 2009.

Good night and God Bless , and all the best for the coming year.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Shadow of God Cast by the Light of Man.

The troublesome if not paradoxical notion that man was created in the image of God has unfairly deprived man of his own image. Even though Christ walked the earth in the form of a man, and the fossil his body has left behind is certainly the imprint of a higher order primate, this image has come to symbolize God not man. Science and religion are equally irreverent of life, their feigned opposition over the origin of the shroud has served only to further mystify and therefore alienate us from this wonderful, yet imperfectly ordinary phenomenon. It is not surprising that the only examples of these anthropomorphic apparitions recorded in Judaeo-Christian history, (the Shroud at Turino and the Sudarium of Oaxaca), are those which can be associated with God. I have to say frankly , I think this tomographical imaging mentioned in the post below is more scam than scan.

The truth is these apparitions are common and reveal themselves to anyone with sufficiently developed visual acuity and the heightened awareness that Coleridge referred to as suspension of disbelief. Most can be photographed but only using silver based emulsion and only once the photographer has perceived them directly. There are some unsupported accounts that these images are actually portals. Full figure portals like the shroud at Turino would allow travelers to venture through the firmament where as smaller face portals like the Sudarium, which allow only the head to pass through, are used for viewing only.

The most recent apparition occurred in a sleepy suburb north of Montreal in 2006 under the door matt at the home of Carlos Argentino. Carlos Argentino, who does not believe in God, found some solace if not self-gratifying sobriety from the fact that this apparition, if in fact divine, formed under the very jute rug where he wipes dung from his boots.

Arial view of the Argentino apparation in 2006

View under the jute rug at the entrance to the Argentino home north of Montreal