PopTech conference in Camden, Maine, describing his use of industrial machine-vision cameras as "slit-scan" scanning technology that captures moments in time in a way that was previously impossible using conventional optical cameras. Magyar told the PopTech crowd he is attempting to combine science and art to "look into and challenge our identities as individuals in the urban crowd."
"I used to do street photography," Magyar said, "but my photos always revolved more around a theory or urban space than a single image, and so it occurred to me to make that theory an image."
"In my images, I stage a situation where people are seen from a distance and I depict them as particles in a system," Magyar says. In the work, Stainless, a short photo-video montage (excerpt above), Magyar scans "rushing subway trains arriving to stations. The images record people staring towards their destinations, standing at the doors of trains, framed by the sliding door windows. "They are scrutinizing the uncertain future," Magyar says. In all of his images, the main theme is arrival, the rhythms of life, "sections of infinite time flowing by relentlessly, like our own life spans," he says.
It is stark but stunning work. Stainless stretches 12 seconds of real time on a crowded train platform in Berlin into 24:44 minutes, suspending the busy crowd in time, rendering his subjects as free-standing images, frozen in hyper slow-motion, as if in collage.
Check out a shorter excerpt of his work here:
Adam Magyar: Stainless (excerpt) from Urban Video Project on Vimeo.
-- Marcia Stepanek
[Photo, above: Adam Magyar speaking at PopTech conference courtesy PopTech]