The digital stereopticon has reached its first level of completion.
I’ve already used it in the field to capture stereo movies using a pair of matching pearl handled Nikon D90 cameras.
Now the viewing aspect is complete – apart from whittling a few details. And I can take it for a good test run to see what else needs to be tweaked or added next.
My fellow Headlands AIR (artist in residence) Sean McFarland sent me a great image from 1922 of Captn. John Noel setting up his Kinematograph on the Chang La near Everest. A nearly invisible sherpa is bracing the tripod and presumably another is snapping the pic.
This is me in my dreams! But the digital stereopticon does have the feeling and function of a good piece of experiemental apparatus.
It also reminds me of Harrison’s first chronometer (still dreaming); an amazing and unsurpassed piece of apparatus concocted by a carpeneter. I love the way Harrison continually tinkered with it by adding bits that would correct for problems as they arose (‘artifacts’) rather than trash it and start again with a device that wouldn’t have those unwanted artifacts. I wonder if he realized that all devices or mechanisms would have artifacts – by definition, they are unexpected – and so starting over would just give him a new set to correct for. A tinkerer rather than a designer perhaps? An artist rather than a scientist?
I’m wondering if what a scientist would call an ‘artifact’, an artist would call a ‘mark’?
Anyhow, back to the digital stereopticon. I will get the chance to test it thoroughly tomorrow at its first public viewing here at the Headlands.
The mirrors reflect two time matched video images from the two sides of the screen into each eyeball and your brain combines them into one stereoscopic and apparently 3 dimensional moving image. I chose to film the two video with camera’s mounted about 40″ apart so that the depth effect is exagerated. Its as if your eyes were set 40″ apart on your head, giving extraordinary depth perception. It’s somewhat vertiginous, but I like the exaggerated reality.
I’m looking forward to making more video experiments to optimize the spacing for the cameras and then to explore the imagery itself in more depth.
In the meantime, I’ve chosen a movie that reflects my original intent to dissolve the walls of the Project Space. It’s a view from the edge of the beach looking due west, pretty much in line of sight from the central axis of the aWay station.
Here’s a single frame from the paired videos.
Here’s the completed digital stereopticon in front of the first three proofs of the Rodeo Project prints.
This arrangement has made it obvious that I should create a pair of 3D Rodeo Project prints to use with the digital stereopticon. That will have to be after I leave though.
It’s great that I still have so much work to do following up from the research I’ve done here. Very much how a research station should operate – lots of lab-work to follow up from the field-work.