Focal camera fileona

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DIY Cameras

Rootlessness and Camera Apparatus

Given my rootlessness, relocating to a new geographical location often means addressing how to belong to this new place. This begins by orienting myself to the surrounding neighborhood on GoogleMaps. I locate the post-office, train station, supermarket, second-hand store, furniture store, caf , bike lane, park, etc. In this context, a satellite lens hovers above the earth, surveilling my location. I also think of my phone-scanning eye as a lens apparatus. At a microscopic pixel level, the phone screen scales down a macro-level neighborhood and my eyes simulate a satellite lens. Meditating on this scaling of place, I built two camera apparatuses for Mathijs van Oosterhoudt’s Thematic Workshop: A Focal Camera. A macro-camera and a micro-camera to replicate my technological experience of orienting to a new place, beginning a sense of belonging.


The two cameras captured composited screenshots of random locations from Google Map’s Earth feature. The macro camera captured the screen at a focus distance of 1 foot, the recommended safe distance for viewing one’s smartphone.

Microscope Macro