The Magic Lantern Series


A series exploring early image technology and identity. Unedited digital works, 2018©


The history of the projected image may be rooted in a very basic and ancient fear of darkness, death and the unknown.  Where fear may be the cause, light is its constructed savior.  Fear of darkness, historically associated with the unknown, called for a means of rescue, an opposite, a way of making manifest to the eye, something pure or real.  In an age where ideas of ghosts and the macabre were part of the general consensus, 18th century experiments with light served as public fascination and the basis for scientific inquiries. c. saint martin 2016

An article from 1839 in the Magazine of Science reads, “All (inventors, those concerned with optics etc.) are and ever must be interested in this science, for it explains all the phenomena of Light, its diffusion wound us, its reflection, its concentration, its colors and the laws which govern the harmony of those colors.” ( Mervyn Heard/ Phantasmagoria: The Secret History of the Magic Lantern)

Taking the history of the magic lantern and early experiments with light into consideration, this series aims to explore the centuries old allure of light and darkness, projected image and the social constructs that form our opinions.

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