We love DIY art and design here at B/D, so it goes without saying that home made Strange Cams certainly caught our eye. An ongoing project initiated by Los Angeles artists Aurelia Friedland and Michael Manalo, Stange Cams investigates the affordances of defamiliarized, modified, low technology instruments, and how those instruments can shift a user’s perspective (literally) on the community and environment around them. I love the sketchy approach the artists took in designing these new cameras – who would have thought a good ol’ roll of duck-tape, a can of spray paint, and some CVS brand disposable cameras would lead to a whole new genre of photography? Check out more of the resulting photographs, and some of the Strange Cams themselves after the jump.
The Caterpillar Cam (shown above) is a camera system that allows for up to 6 users with rotational capabilities. Some other designs include the Spider Cam (up to 4 users with one being able to document the other three), Monkey in the Middle Cam (up to 3 users), and the Stretch Cam (up to 2 users and can extend up to 2 feet).
More recently, the cameras have been used as a way to spark conversation with protestors from the Occupy Movement – a great playground for new perspectives.
How can our everyday products, even the most low-tech (like disposable cameras) be re-designed, and re-purposed as something completely new? The Strange Cams project touches on a wide array of histories and disciplines, raising questions around the authorship of the pieces that result from these devices.
Many more images from these strange devices can be found on flickr.