About the Book
The One Pixel Camera Project functions on two levels. In one sense, it looks at the hidden politics inherent to technological design and the ways in which design tacitly prescribes and dictates certain behaviour. In another sense, it becomes the extreme of “objective” photography. Of course, photography can never be purely objective, but The One Pixel Camera is almost entirely void of subjective influence: nothing but a zero-dimensional, quantifiable, data-point of light information is recorded and the operator has almost no subjective control in terms of the quality, framing or content of the image.
The One Pixel Camera takes a first principles approach, breaking the camera’s function down to its primary essence: a mere capture (index) of light. For the project, a camera was specifically designed and constructed so that it can perform no more than this essential function. The absurd design decision magnifies and makes obvious the design limitations and rules by which one is bound, and the ways in which one’s behaviour becomes prescribed through technological design.
The project exists as three main components: 1) The camera itself, which functions as a sculptural object or potentially an interactive artwork; 2) The images produced by the camera, labelled with explicit captions indicating subject matter; and 3) Photographs of the camera in use as documentation of my “performing” the program of the camera. So far, the camera has been used to produce a series of images of clichéd and conventional photographic subject material such as sunsets, family events, outdoor activities, portraits, personal belongings, and tourist locations.
Dave Kemp is a visual artist whose practice looks at the intersections and interactions between art, science and technology: particularly at how these fields shape our perception and understanding of the world. Dave obtained his PhD in Art and Visual Culture from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate from the Master of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto where he also completed the Collaborative Program in Knowledge Media Design. Prior to this, he earned an Image Arts (photography) BFA from Ryerson University and his BScE in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University.