Friday, September 18, 2009

Camera Obscura

If you're in downtown Seattle on Saturday, check out the giant camera obscura in Victor Steinbrueck Park. Sculptor and science teacher Thaddeus Jurczynski received a grant from 4Culture's Site Specific Art program to install a large tentlike structure in the center of the city, built of lightproof fabric, with a tiny pinhole in one wall. The first camera obscura was built by scientist Abu Ali Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haitham, sometime around 1000 AD. He was attempting to study the way that light travels, and his discovery (followed by several centuries of more extensive experiments) led directly to the invention of photography. As described by less an authority than Aristotle, light rays cross each other as they pass through a hole in a space and create an upside-down, inverted image when they hit a surface. See for yourself this Saturday from 2 to 6 pm.

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