Thousand Yard Stare

2013-04-12 07.45.43
Thousand Yard Stare is an installation showcasing a series of panoramic photographs made with a custom robotic camera. A slit-scan process was used to produce a photograph which is literally an accumulation of data over time and distance. Rather than making momentary snapshots, the camera captures a very narrow vertical section of its field of view, several times a second while moving along a track. The resulting photographs do not represent distance by shrinking faraway objects; instead, far away objects are distorted horizontally.

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This exhibition featured photographs captured along unused railroad tracks near Othello, Washington, tracks which once formed a small segment of the mighty Milwaukee Road. The captured panoramas were printed in a gallery space at Whitman College over the course of a month-long exhibition.  To facilitate the printing and viewing of these photographs, a printer was placed on a mobile platform which allowed it to move back and forth across the gallery floor, folding the image on top of itself as printing progressed. The finished prints total approximately 300 feet (90m) in length.

This work was realized through the use of dismantled scanner hardware, medium format film camera optics, and a purpose-built robotic steel platform. It makes use of a Raspberry Pi computer running code written in C and Python, as well as a suite of desktop applications written in Processing.