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obscurabus on the road

Since the birth of Photography we have been able to preserve moments that may otherwise disappear forever. The camera has allowed us to record and understand the fluid nature of time and reflect on it. In today’s world our sense of time and temporal experience is transforming through a constant urge for change, new content, immediacy and for speed.

the moving camera Project examines the everyday dynamics of modern life in the city and aims to challenge our perception of time and the urban landscape.

The mechanism is a van-turned-giant camera on wheels, which I use to drive through the city, following its motion and rhythm. Inside the darkened body of the vehicle, the moving image of the outside world is projected upside down on the wall opposite the lens, which is mounted on the side wall of the van. I open and close the shutter exposing light onto large-scale sheets of photographic paper, creating direct color negative photographs. Read more.

Even before the invention of the digital sensor, the photo negative was in the shadows, a private master from which the public photographic print was made. The almost forgotten negative is resurrected in this series of surreal photographs.

Having a camera on wheels allows a different approach towards image-making. I am inside the moving camera absorbing the outside world. I am partly invisible, watching life through a ‘viewfinder’ – the passenger window. I am an intrinsic part of the machine; the camera and I are one. I replace my subjectivity with the photosensitive material and the process takes on a life of its own.

I move around the city, becoming part of the spectacle, rather intuitively following the available light and mood of the given day. I do not hunt for anything specific, nor do I have a planned route for the shooting day.

The photographs are mostly void of the architecture and the human figures that we are accustomed to seeing in a cityscape; instead they suggest a certain animated energy that can often be felt, but rarely seen. These color paper negatives represent abstracted experience of place, they stretch the fabric of time by absorbing image after image, moment after moment, and transform it all into a single photograph.

Maciej Markowicz has been drawn to photography’s alchemical power and the metaphorical and technical potential of the camera obscura has fascinated him for many years. While traveling back and forth in between countries in Europe and the United States over the last fifteen years, each place has left a kaleidoscopic impression, partially overwritten every time. Memories of each place, image, and travel have transformed into visual passages of time and space. This accumulated experience required a specific medium. In 2010, Markowicz began exposing images directly on chromogenic paper, drawn to both the immediacy and purity of this process.

Maciej Markowicz is a Polish born (81'​) New York based artist. He holds a BA in Photography from University of the Arts, London. He was awarded the Presidential Scholarship from the School of Visual Arts and completed the year-long Photo Global residency in New York. His work has been shown in places including the Tate Modern, London, The New York Photo Festival and New York Design Week. The movie about his ongoing project The Moving Camera has been premiered during a film festival DOCNYC 2016.