The camera has always been a simulation of the human eye. Photographs for a long time were considered truths, they sated that “i was here” and were a way of documenting what was seen and showing it to another. What camera less photography does for us is to show us something beyond the human eye, something we could never have seen.
Granted, there are camera techniques that reveal more than the human eye is capable of; such as macro / microscopic photography and even long exposures. However these are still simulating the human eye, just on a smaller scale.
Typically, photography is defined as an image created with a camera, but what is now defined as a photograph goes far beyond the reach of the lens. Camera-less photography traditions were made using photosensitive materials exposed to light and often took the form as a photogram. As photography techniques evolve with time and tradition fades, equally camera less photography has evolved as analogue melts into digital.
Aric Craffords work is a prime example of how camera less photography has moved beyond photosensitive materials and into the digital world.
Aric uses a flatbed scanner to create his images, however camera less Aric’s work still has the same photographic parameters involved with traditional photography. His images are not quick and haphazard like a vast majority of photography. His images take hours to render as the scanner is scanning at such a high resolution.
“The name of series is Slithering for the reason of the light moving from within the scanner. The light from below slithers through the amorphous, excessive amounts of material to create the photograph. The final image is a compilation of chemical reactions and human gestures, it's bit performative. The idea is in alignment with light giving life to the monster in Frankenstein. Just as the creature did not exist without light, neither did these photographs”
“As I mentioned Frankenstein, one of my interests is science fiction. The belief creating something that does not exist in real life, but only through the artist's mind and optics of a device. I am interested in challenging the device and it's optical capabilities; the deconstruction of the device. The camera indexes light bouncing off a subject before it, but the scanner's light gives life to an image that did not previously exist”
This highly conceptual work started its life by fixing chemicals between two pieces of plexiglass with the intention of using a camera to photograph them. Some of the best photography results come from experimentation, just as Dr Frankenstein, Aric’s experiments with the flathead scanner lead him to yield the results shown today.
Experiments in art are not as controlled and precise as in science, art requires freedom from restraints to produce new exciting results. Photographic experiments expand far beyond the realms of pressing the shutter release. Many photographic work in essence relies on the methodical process for its realisation. Aric’s work employs the nature of fun and excitement in its creation and without such an inquisition we would not have the work before us today, something crucial to its realisation.