A new year means a new season, and a new journey.
This time, with a little help from two brilliant artists, Maciej Markowicz the photographer behind the The Moving Camera project and the celebrated French writer Ingrid Aster, we invite you to take the road, again.
In today’s world our sense of time and temporal experience is transforming through a constant urge for change, new content, immediacy and for speed. The Moving Camera Project examines the everyday dynamics of modern life in the city and aims to challenge our perception of time and the urban landscape.
- What was your motivation to work on a project like this?
Music has always played important part of my life. My grandfather was a member of post-war polish-retro band called Romantyczni (trans: Romantics) and my father is self taught singer/base player. I draw continuing inspiration from listening to classical music and contemporary jazz. I think making and playing music is one of the most insightful and intimate form of artistic expression. When I came across Newvelle Records and their rather special and very dedicated approach to publishing artist musical creations in an unique set for vinyl records, I thought it would be very nice to collaborate on a project like that. My photographs are often described as poetic, vibrant and multi dimensional. One person said they are visual records of the energy, it almost like someone would transferred the amplitude of space and time into visual form. When listening to the music, like Metropolis daily life, Mozart Piano Concerto or Keith Jarrett Ist part of Koln Concert, I am often thinking: How this mixture of sounds would look like if it would be ever visualized?
As a photographer I have been continually struggling to capture not only what I see but how I feel about the place I encounter at the given moment. I have been looking for a medium that allows me that for most of my photographic journey. It was in 2015 when I began working on The Moving Camera Project when I found what I was looking for. Working inside the camera and having a direct relation with the photographic material allows a very intimate process: its a performative and symbiotic collaboration between me and the machine. The other very crucial aspect is off course the time and our constant need as humanity to catch up with it or even overrun it. It felt natural for me to mobilized the camera and set it in the motion as attend to stretch the canvas of time.
- The Moving Camera project examines the everyday dynamics of modern live in the city. Could we say you print the city's pace, as a musician would does but in a different way?
That’s a definitely an compelling comparison: Photography in essence means Drawing with Light and once you place a photographic device on wheels into the city like New York, something very magical happens. I like to think that: The Moving Camera mechanism, by following the rhythm of the city, is recording the amplitude of space in a visible spectrum of light. The mechanism allows me to transform the energy of the place that is often felt but hardly seen into vivid photographic negative prints.
- Is it right to say that your work juggles freedom, happenstance and improvisation, as jazz does?
When Photographing, I strive away from making a master plan of places that I will be going to in the given day. The process I am using requires a lot of preparation and organizational discipline. Thus the act of image-making naturally becomes liberating: I am simply driving following the light: the sun and constantly studying its reflective qualities in the surrounding landscape The decision on when I open the shutter is pure response to my emotional impulse, build upon the culmination of the whole performance when everything (light, shadows, camera speed) is allied then I click. In fact I very often listen to Keith Jarrett when I work.
The mechanism is a van-turned-giant camera on wheels, which the artist uses to drive through the city, following its motion and rhythm. Inside the darkened body of the vehicle, the moving image of the outside world is projected upside down on the wall opposite the lens, which is mounted on the side wall of the van.
The photographer opens and closes the shutter exposing light onto large-scale sheets of photographic paper, creating direct color negative photographs.
Since September 2017, Maciej is cruising around Europe in his self build giant floating camera as part of The Moving Camera Project. The tour will be concluded with a solo exhibition of the works during Hamburg Triennial of Photography in June 2018. More info at www.obscurab.us and for daily updates follow @obscurabus.
"Having a camera on wheels allows a different approach towards image-making. I am inside the moving camera absorbing the outside world. I am partly invisible, watching life through a ‘viewfinder’ – the passenger window. I am an intrinsic part of the machine; the camera and I are one. I replace my subjectivity with the photosensitive material and the process takes on a life of its own.
I move around the city, becoming part of the spectacle, rather intuitively following the available light and mood of the given day."