Art Lake City | In Plain Site | Visual Arts

Stephan Kopolwitz’s Light Camera Action

Light Camera Action
Public art project that combines the old and the new in photography

Stephan Kopolwitz’s Light Camera Action, located on the main campus of Salt Lake Community College (State Street and 1700 South in Salt Lake City), blends centuries-old methods for reproducing images with 21st century technologies to create an immersive experience designed to highlight the human experience.

The site-installation was commissioned in 2013, was created in collaboration with architects from KBAS (Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman), and is comprised of three working camera obscuras. The larger camera is on the west side of campus and can be entered for an immersive experience of the camera obscura effect. The smaller camera on the East side of campus is a free standing and pivoting smaller camera with two viewing ports that can be changed according to the aim of the lense. The third interior camera is also an immersive / interactive camera. All of these cameras feed to an interior video wall filtered through a computerized algorithm driven by light conditions and focal points of the camera.

The design concept of Light Camera Action references the history of technology, harnesses present day innovations and makes a statement that the future of technology will embrace both human (analog) and virtual (digital) in a combination that reminds us that technology is in our world to serve society and connect people to people. The artist’s intent for this site wide installation is to invite and inspire the students, faculty and visitors of SLCC and the Salt Lake City community to experience and physically interact with the instruments in numerous ways. The array of these three cameras allow for ephemeral (life performance) and permanent visual art creation as well as for contemplation on the wonder of the physics of light and creation of images. Light Camera Action transforms the building into a stage, its inhabitants into directors and performers. The building and its surrounding space transforms into a back lot, a studio, a location. At the same time, each camera will remind everyone of the wonder of perception and provide the community with a visual experience that brings forth a sense of shared vision, community and purpose.

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