Stereo Pictures




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, made with a special two-lensed camera.
The camera generated two frames from one scene, which you'd need to mount in a special holder. To view the slide, you’d insert it into a back-lit viewer, which you’d hold to your face like binoculars. Each eye sees one of the two frames, and the brain juxtaposes these two image to generate the illusion of three dimensions.


I’ve collected over three thousand of these slides, all of which are family photos. All family pictures are interesting, their amateur quality and our reasons for taking them produce objects that are as much intentional as they are accidental. But the slides that I’ve collected are also interesting in other ways: they are made with positive film, which means they were once physically in front of their subjects; you look at them through a viewer that is held by one person at a time with a warm back light, which generates a special relationship between the viewer and the picture; and, of course, they simulate depth. I am interested in the depth of photographs, whether it is the few millimeters of paper in printed pictures, the information in a raw file, the simulated three-dimensionality of a picture, or the narratives and memories accumulated in them.

The I made the pieces in this project with images from these stereo slides, they are mounted as stereo slides and viewable through a stereo viewer to simulate 3D. With this work I explore the different aspects of depth that photographs can accrue, through human relationships, time, and technology.