EVERY POSSIBLE PHOTOGRAPH

This project investigates the idea of using computation to "use up" a piece of technology, in this case a digital camera. Using custom-written software (and a very long period of time), every possible photograph is generated, one at a time and in numerical order.

Though limited to eight colors at a very low resolution, the piece will take approximately 46,138,562,195,008,110,600,774,753,760,087,749,172,181,189,607,929,628,058,548,517,099,604,563,033,706,075 years to complete (assuming the computer runs flawlessly 24-hours a day). By way of comparison, the universe is about 13,770,000,000 years old. The piece offsets these combinations starting at Niepce’s famous 1826 photograph looking outs his window, the first photographic image to be permanently captured.

The idea that extremely useless labor is interesting is central to this project, as is the eschewing of the utility of data and its representation in traditional visualization work. Attempting to create every image a camera is essentially a time machine; somewhere in the set of images and alongside billions of "meaningless" others are a photograph of me, a photograph of me if I didn’t get a haircut last week, and a photograph of me with someone who I have never met.

Additionally, this project interrogates the meaning of the camera. If the camera didn’t 'see' those events, are they real? They look like real people, but aren't. Consider images created this way that are illegal (child pornography, for example): they are not 'real' but depict something very real.

Video showing a small part of the piece as it is shown in the gallery
A single "photograph", number 657