FULLSCREEN is a series of videos to be viewed at the highest res your rig can handle.
I watched a fashion video by accident yesterday. It was called “Obüs – The Traveller.” I thought Obüs was a Scandinavian dude! And I was ready to learn about the travels of Obüs. I didn’t know Obüs was a fashion line.
The film wasn’t bad. It offered a nice indie song, cool locations, the brightest (depiction of) sunlight I’ve never seen and underwear shots. Yeah, nice–until the end. The girl the camera’s been following approaches a tree of clothes outside of her quaint country cottage, and the camera focuses in on each and every piece of clothing for like two minutes while the music plays. It’s fuckin’ weird man–why would you hang such a diverse array of matching clothing all over a huge tree?
I feverishly clicked the description for answers, saw the word “Collection” and clicked the link for obus.com.au. Yeah, I watched a fashion commercial. That’s why it’s all pretty and idealistic until the end, where a tree hung with clothes was left by some unseen creeps (probably Obüs) and they left a weird message for you, “hello traveler” on the typewriter. I don’t want to see into Obüs world again. But I enjoyed their video!
With my new open mind I begin clicking on links I usually wouldn’t. I saw a promo by some “kids in Italia,” a fashionist collective called 55DSL. They showed me “Roma,” which was also eerily perfect. It was a no words spoken, boys meets girl film with another indie soundtrack. But it’s really red!! And there’s cute people!!1!
Finally, I came upon SILVER & LIGHT, which as you’ll see below, exalts a skinny blonde in the thumbnail. I thought I was in for more of the same as the two fashion films before, but I had to know for sure if I was seeing a pattern. Besides, girls.
What I saw instead was a story of the most hauntingly accurate analog photographs in 150 years. The “accuracy,” since I can’t think of a better word, comes in the way the photos are taken. Ian Ruhter uses a technique which began in the 1850s, where a plate of glass is coated with a wet layer of “Collodion,” a chemical solution which is minutely affected by sunlight, enabling the fine tuning of detailed analog photography.
The “wet plate” sits upright in a dark room while a hole in the wall–which is fitted with a lens–allows enough focused sunlight through the lens to make a permanent, inverted impression on the coated plate. The technique replaced the similarly based pinhole camera, or Daguerreotype.
Ian is a spearhead in a sparse, revivalist breed. The extra care of the photographer’s process shows through in the “microscopic details” of his medium. Ruhter’s artistic existence requires a deep desire–a deep persistence in craft.