Using 32,000 black drinking straws, collaborators Michael (Mick) Farrell and Cliff Haynes created the Straw Camera, a homemade camera they began experimenting with in 2007. Despite the connection one might draw to a pinhole camera, the Straw Camera actually functions quite differently, producing a multipoint perspective from an array rather than a single point perspective.
The direct analogue process records the light collected from each straw onto a piece of paper secured to the back of the camera. The camera gives a direct 1:1 view of the subject that is placed before it, however it translates the image to one that mirrors that of pointillist painting, breaking the subject into thousands of little dots.
“In a world beset by selfies with their immediate gratification, and HD television in all its glory feeding our visual appetite, a Straw Camera image of an individual, with its engineering projection and disappearance of the subject into the near fog of visual capture, gives the viewer a glimpse of just how transitory perception is,” said Cliff about the camera.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You'll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!