Led by artists Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, and Tristan Duke, the Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio is a team devoted to exploring and expanding the photographic medium. Working with the Liminal Camera, a massive, portable camera obscura fashioned from a shipping container, the Optics Division uses experimental technology in an ongoing effort to map and depict the American landscape. From the arid West to New York's waterways, the camera has captured dramatic scenes of regions in transition.
As part of this project, The Liminal Camera
presents newly commissioned photographs made in and around Chicago. Though enormous in size, the camera, transported on a semi-trailer truck, was unobtrusive from an outsider's perspective, allowing the artists to work without drawing attention. Photographs could be developed from within the shipping container, blending the image's subject with the process of photography itself. The resulting large-scale prints not only highlight the evolving history of photographic imaging, but also locate the city within a complex global network of transportation systems, industry, and commerce.