REDESIGNING THE PINHOLE CAMERA: AN EXERCISE ABOUT HOW TO DEVELOP AN "ECOBJET" FOR CREATING "BIOIMAGES"
Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This article falls within the Bioimages project, which in turn, stem from an educative and a technologic axis. The first axis presents itself like a perfect territory to debate the sustainability problems, promoting and questioning new pedagogical practices in Arts Education. The second axis focuses on innovative processes and technologies that drastically reduce the use of toxic agents that are usually present in the normal methods utilized in conventional photography labs. The design and construction of such innovative and accessible technologies using 3D printing will assist the biodegradable processes of film development because they are based on recycled and biodegradable plastics. In addition to that, their applications could be multiple. This axis is the origin of the “Ecobjects”: Various objects that have been designed and thought out on the basis of a sustainable ecologic circularity and which purpose is to help in the creation of bioimages. Analyzing the problem of plastic waste, the use and reutilization of Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) in 3D printing allows, in theory, a smaller ecologic footprint. This sustainable ecologic circularity recognizes the effort emerged in the 50s driven by designers who protested the consumerist culture and the practice of “build-in-obsolescence”. During this investigation, it arose the need of redesigning the pin hole camera. The famous pin hole camera is still widely used by photographers and visual artists like Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. These small devices allow us to understand the basic light principles and the operation of light/image capturing devices. Its operation is so simple that the construction possibilities are infinite, and a wide variety of materials can be used. Relying on the principles of circularity and an action-research methodology, the pin hole camera was redesigned in a participatory manner with Teachers and Students of the Soares dos Reis Artistic School. By doing so, we managed to combine the digital and virtual aspects with the physical substances and the analogical processes, thereby creating a craft-lab environment. This collaborative approach propitiated a critical way of thinking based on real educational needs; therefore, it was possible not only to think about the function and shape of the object, but also about the system where this object is used. One of the needs was to explain the focal lengths using the pin hole camera. In response to this problem we designed normal and panoramic “backs”. These backs fit into two sliding mechanisms, both situated at different distances from the hole. The PLA material is translucent, but we surpassed this problem by choosing a black color and using three layers on the perimeter of the camera body with a 20% infill. Regarding the hole cover or the shutter system, the ideal choice is to print the piece(s) with a 100% infill. A complex image creation eco-system that relies on a circular logic of continuous reciprocity, gives us the chance to rethink old systems based on exclusionary and destructive logics. Perhaps the fact that this project is framed in the artistic education field will allows us to take a step back and spend time designing new image creation eco-systems and combine them with more recent technologies, like 3D printing. In this way we want to find new pedagogical practices and new worlds that enable us to reflect about the design of the future.
Keywords: Art Education, Sustainability, Ecology, Image, Photography, 3D Printing, Product Design.