Texas artist, Ansen Seale, thinks he probably should have been an engineer because his art has always used technology and machines. Instead, he's channeled his curiosity about time and our place in its continuum towards more creative pursuits — namely photography.
But not just point-and-shoot photography. Rather than capturing a single moment, Seale said he's more interested in examining the passage of time. To do so, he had to invent his own camera called a slitscan camera.
"Instead of mirroring the world as we know it, I believe this camera records a hidden reality," Seale wrote in his artist statement.
The digital panoramic camera records tiny vertical slivers of a scene in rapid succession.
"The horizontal axis of the image is rendered as a time exposure," Seale explained. "A single sliver of space is imaged over an extended period of time, with moving objects inserting themselves into the data stream at different speeds and directions."
The result, he says, "is a mind-bending swap of the dimensions of X and Time" where "still objects are blurred and moving bodies are rendered clearly."
Seale likens his camera to a telescope or a microscope that gives us a glimpse into a reality not visible with the naked eye.
"The content of the images is the passage of time itself, with the objects photographed being the carriers of that idea," he explained. "It's sort like a tree bending in the wind. The tree is not the wind. It's just one of the ways that we know there is wind."
He's calling his new body of work photo/sculptures, where his slitscan images are separated into their component colors, much like the CMYK color model in commercial litho printing. Each color is then drilled into tiny holes — millions of them — on one layer of acrylic. These layers are stacked together, forming a 3D image that changes as the viewer moves.
Seale has largely farmed out this drilling process to outside firms. But he's looking to obtain greater control over this artists process, so he's looking to purchase equipment that will make this more of an in-house operation.
As you can image, this is an expensive pursuit. So Seale is seeking donations to help reach his goal of $20,230. And he's not just holding out his hat — he's auctioning off his art. For $5,000 you can be the proud owner of a photo/sculpture using the technique you helped fund. If five grand is a little salty, Seale is also auctioning off his work for as little as $50.
Credit: Ansen Seale