Artwork in process – the making of the pinhole camera

art studio Joost Gerritsen - Artwork in process

Artwork in process – The making of the pinhole camera.

Artwork in process..

At first it sounds silly to make a box out of clay. A simple box with a hole in it so it will resemble and hopefully work as a pin hole camera.

The box is like a shoe box and has an extremely simple form. That’s why every detail is of the essence. I made the clay box bit by bit instead of five slabs of clay put together. That would be to machine like. I want the box to be imperfect, hand made.

It’s fun to create the box, layer upon layer of pieces of clay. brown smooth stuff that changes colour when it hardens.

I took the photo of the not yet finished pin whole camera when the sun was going under. The artwork in process was beautifully lightened by the orange colour of the autumn light. There is funny and intriguing element about the work. Making a photo of a camera that’s still in the production line so to speak.

Artwork in process – The new vs the old technology.

At the same time the shadows of the trellis were cast upon the empty canvas on the wall, still waiting. The old fashioned way of depicting the world. Analogue, canvas, paint, substance. changing matter into something immaterial.
In a sense the whole art work in process is about the collision between modern technology and centuries old techniques like clay. Today photography is a digital process, most of the pictures taken are not even printed but wait patiently on a hard drive to be seen once in a blue moon. Or they are used on the internet and only show their true colours on a screen.

With this artwork I wanted to find out how the lowtech material like clay combines with a modern invention like photography. Knowing that most photos today are made with a mobile phone. Casual, often the action of taking a photo is more important then the photo itself. Making a selfie under the Eiffel tower or with friends in a bar. The photo moment is a part of social communication, the photo itself is quickly forgotten.
I wanted to make a camera that takes slow pictures. The shutter time of the pinhole camera is extremely slow, about 5 min. But not only the making of the photo is a slow process. Making the camera from clay itself is a slow process as well. The artwork will be built in stages. First the kneading of the clay, then the construction of the box itself. After the camera is hardened in a natural way it will be fired and painted black on the inside.

The slowness of the artwork in process will hopefully result in slow pictures. Photo’s with an image where the low-tech way of creating the camera will give the photos time. Time to look and time to think about the art installation that will include the camera and the pictures.

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