Stereo Pictures

Stereo Slides Project



I am interested in three-dimensionality of photographs. Whether it is the few millimeters of paper in printed pictures or the simulated depth in them, there is something about images and space that intrigues me.

I am interested in photographs generated by the technology of the past. I’m especially attracted to slides, which are usually made from the actual film rolls someone placed inside a camera. There is something beautiful about thinking that that same material was once physically in front of the subject. I collect family slides that I find in yard sales and junk yards. In this journey I stumbled upon an interested technology. Starting in the 40s and up until the 70s, there was a semi-popular photo-technology meant to bring 3D photography to the masses: stereo slides.
To capture a stereo slide you need a special camera that has two lenses. The camera generates two frames from one image, which you need to mount a certain way. To view it you use stereo viewers, which are similar to the more popular viewmasters. Each eye sees one of the two frames, and the brain juxtaposes these two image to generate the illusion of three dimensions. The basis of the technology shares some similarities with VR, applying the same principles of three-dimensionality through physical, analog means.

I’ve acquired a collection of over 3,000 stereo slides since I first learnt of them, most of them family pictures from the 50s and 60s. I have been making what I call 3D collages using scans of found stereo slides and photoshop to capitalize in this depth illusion. My work has always been very interested in what the materiality of images means. This type of images, which lay in between two and three dimensions are an interesting standpoint to talk about this.