Kodak Brownie box camera

Ever wonder about the internal workings of a camera? Find out at this year’s IngenuityFest! Artist, Stephen Takacs is creating Target Six-16. Target Six-16 is a modular, room-sized camera obscura that functions as an immersive art installation, as a functioning image-making device and a didactic tool. Physically, this piece is a to-scale replica of an iconic Kodak Brownie box camera that has been enlarged 18.5 times to a footprint of 5’ 3” x 8’ 5”, and a height of 8’.

Viewers of Target Six-16 are encouraged to enter the installation through an opening in the rear of piece and experience the internal workings of the image capture device. On the front of the camera is a lens and a small infrared sensor connected to the camera shutter. When the sensor is activated by motion, it opens the shutter allowing light to enter inside of camera via the lens. The cameras lens projects an upside-down image of the exterior onto a large spool of thin transparent fabric in the interior of the camera. Within this camera obscura, the everyday world is re-contextualized by literally turning the perception of the world upside-down. By entering inside of Target Six-16, participants are simultaneously captured by, and become, the capture device. As viewers on the outside observe the object, they simultaneously become the object. This inversion and simultaneous juxtaposition of the role of the viewer and the viewed presents a definitive challenge to the standard art viewing experience.