For Black Box, I placed a digital camera within a large format analogue camera. I then captured the precise moment of exposing a sheet of paper. This exposed sheet of paper – the only physical version of the photograph – was put into a sealed black box. The photograph inside could only be visualised through scanning a QR code on the front of the box.
The idea for Black Box came from my questioning of what a digital photograph is. Like many aspects of contemporary culture, it doesn’t have any physical properties. It can appear on most screens and devices without limitation, sometimes appearing on millions of screens simultaneously. In a way, the process is not that different to traditional photography. It’s the speed and scale of digital photography’s reach that brings home its lack of physicality and our own absence from the initial experience. Digital photographs have an almost organic structure or aura. Each time an image is seen, uploaded or shared, that structure and aura grows. With this installation, I wanted to encourage viewers to become aware of and engage with that aura.