Gábor Bakos
Television tube camera obscura

Installation, 1994-95

The television tube camera obscura is an optical transmitter, a camera obscura combined with a television - two in one, to use the language of TV commercials. It is a combination of the past - the aperture camera - and of the present - the world of transmitting television tubes.

The television tube camera obscura is assembled from a television tube and a glass lens with the required focal length, joined in place of the cathode ray projector.

The inside of the tube is sandblasted, while the exterior glass surface, connecting the tube and the lens, are covered with dark, opaque paint. This way the light gathered by the lens can be interpreted as a picture on the screen. (Naturally, proper lighting conditions and a sufficiently fast collecting lens are required for this operation.)

The image created in this way is continuous, in the same way as is the picture on a television screen. Similarly to a camera obscura, this instrument optically reverses the top and bottom, as well as the left and right, of the original image. Depending on the adjustment of the set, that is, the focal length and size of the collecting lens, and the concave screen, only certain parts of the image will be in focus.

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