A Fusion of Old and New Technology

A new collaborative work, aiming to highlight connections between Science and Industry in Birmingham, is under construction at BOM. It is the exciting work of fellows Jo Gane and Leon Trimble.  Inspired by fellow Pete James’ ongoing research into early photography in Birmingham, the project will examine how the early 19th century fusion between science and industry assisted in the birth of Photography. It has all been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.

Jo and Leon, (with the help of master cabinet maker, Jamie Hubbard) will be constructing time Machines that resemble historic Wolcott Daguerreotype cameras. Combined with a Raspberry Pi and a miniature camera inside the camera body, it will enable a live stream of images to be sent from specific locations in Birmingham. The images that are sent will be from areas relevant to the history of Photography and will be fed via partner websites, live, straight into the BOM gallery.

Last week at BOM, a functioning prototype was put together within the gallery, enabling us to see how this fusion of new and old technology would work for the first time. The images are formed within the camera in the same way that they were in the early 19th Century, but are miraculously view-able online via a smart phone.

The finished devices will be shown at BOM from June 2017 – September 2017 as part of a series of collaborative and companion exhibitions and projects brought together by BOM. ‘Thresholds’ by Mat Collishaw will be shown simultaneously at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and will similarly explore the early history of photography.