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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project (detail)

Work / Photography

Carlo Van de Roer has a portrait machine that can see your spirit, no less!

And for his next trick, Carlo Van de Roer will photograph your aura. But this is no tepid magic show, lamely investing an illusion with about as much art as Paul Daniels (UK ref only I’m afraid).

The fascinating set-up of these images taken with The Portrait Machine inspires the same awe that photography harnessed back in the day when we thought it stole our souls – all Carlo is doing is taking its picture (no big deal).

It’s pretty non-science but the “machine” suggests a “bypass” of control that the photographer normally wields when portraying a subject. The sitters are connected to a special polaroid camera by sensors that measure electromagnetic biofeedback creating “readings” that appear aesthetically (in the image) and as information in a printed description. The combination of the two create something otherwise unseen, a phenomena evolved from early spirit photography, at around the time X-ray devices emerged.

Carlo consciously chose subjects with some familiarity to him, be it friends or family or personalities from the public sphere like Miranda July, Terence Koh, Phillipe Starck and Waris Ahluwalia. He has “expectations” of these people, the effect of these photographs has is to reveal something unknown – like Miranda July is all over “Violet: Mystical, Unifying” which, especially if it’s near your left side, curiously indicates that “the highest vibrational frequencies will be distributed to you.” Someone should warn her.

It’s almost sinister, if quite beautiful, and Carlo is currently in the process of Kickstarter-ing a book version of the project which can be supported here.

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Yoko

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Yoko data

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Miranda

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Miranda data

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Christelle

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Carlo Van de Roer: The Portrait Machine Project – Christelle data