Figure in Motion

FIGURE in MOTION / In 1966 I was the proud owner of a used Hasselblad 1000F, having bought it from a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was, no doubt, upgrading his equipment while I was in graduate school trying to do the same. These images were made with that camera from 1966-72. I modified the camera with an old clock motor to transport the film mechanically forward at 1 rpm. It was clear to me that altering the traditional relationship of exposure time to film movement would net an unpredictable if not a unique image. The key was to mask the focal plane shutter down to a narrow vertical slit, a sliver of a window through which the exposure is made as the film advances for a nine minute exposure running the length of the roll of film. The picture is recorded line by line and resembles the edge paintings on eighteenth century illustrated books. Rendering the figure in this way results in a distinct cubist view of the subject where each rotation of the model yields a 360 degree view of the uninterrupted surface of the body or the simultaneous viewing of all sides of the subject. Although these are some of the first ever slit-scan images of the figure, the process occasionally moves out of the shadows and reveals other fascinating applications of the idea.