In Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography (The MIT Press, 1999; ISBN 0-262-52259-4), author Geoffrey Batchen explores the passions of early photographers to record latent images. The initial work of Nicephore Niepce, Louis Daguerre, and William Henry Fox Talbot are each examined in a discussion that is bounded by the philosophical and scientific definitions surrounding the discovery of photography.
Along with this conception of a new form of visualization, the art community was challenged with the birth of a new definition--what exactly is photography?
Fast forward to today. The art community now has another challenge. Just like the declaration attributed to Paul Delaroche upon learning about photography ("From today, painting is dead") so too has photography been read its epitaph with the advent of digital imaging. One thing that Batchen points out very clearly, however, is that such dogma is anathema to artists.
Photographers have long embraced digital technology as a medium for expression. Even oddball offshoots like scanner photography have been appreciated by the artist as photographer.
Andrew Davidhazy, Mike Golembewski, Kurt Novak, and Lieve Prins have each used the scanner as a creative platform. The handheld 3D camera explores a similar tack; in this case, using a scanner to create high resolution 3D images.
Following some careful scanner dissection and software calibration, the handheld 3D camera can be used for printing detailed images of any object that you can touch--an effect that could leave you burning with desire.
Step 1: Make a Handheld 3D Camera
Time: 3 hours