The revealing Machine is a workshop series that was part of Kuldīga Photography Residence with ISSP in cooperation with Kuldīga Artists’ Residence. It took place from 13th of July to the 21st of July 2019.
“I always remember the moment when I understood how William Klein was using his camera. When I realized that for him, this machine was not anymore, an eye but a window where the people could glance, all my perspective of the photographic medium changed. This simple gesture changed, at least for me, the action of photographing. The camera became a social device able to develop multiple unexpected relations.“
This workshops, as a result, conceived of photography as a relational device; not just as a medium to represent, but an instrument to catalyse situations, transform daily routines, reveal meanings and create new perspectives on the reality around us. This understanding of the camera enabled audiences to gather by creating situations that stimulated interpersonal interaction and relations to context. The machine was no longer a technological apparatus but a technology in itself. The spectators were transformed not only into participants but also into what Helio Oiticia call the ex-spectators, the inventors of the active performance.
The workshop was structured as a collective laboratory and research space to exchange ideas and experiment with photography as a relational technique. The methodology involved group discussions, explorations of the immediate environment, and individual and group ‘actions’ or ‘projects’ in connection to the local village and surrounding natural environment. The first ‘action’ as a group was the construction of a camera obscura in the forest, using collected natural materials and an expositional time of a week. Using different photo-based technologies, from classical portraits to camera-less photography and photosensitive surfaces, we created objects, performances and collective rituals where both creators and spectators were involved, became indivisible from the work, and thus transformed.