Ebbesen Davis


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In my most recent work, an ongoing series of objects connects photography with supportive interactive elements. Despite the wildly popular emergence of digital photography, I still find direct image making with traditional materials more intriguing. And for over ten years I’ve investigated stereo photography, also known as “3D.” Besides making 3D photo Sculptures, I also mount some of my stereo images as side-by-side prints which can be “free-viewed” without any special optical devices.

Designed in the 1940s, my camera uses twin side-by-side lenses with synchronized shutters, enabling it to expose two images simultaneously. The camera is completely manual without batteries or meter. Still, the images made with this mid-century technology can generate some surprising experiences.

Introducing one of these “3D photo constructions” to an acquaintance recently, his eyes remained glued to its binocular viewer for several minutes as he continued to talk. The image was abstract, yet its stereo format presented a very real context of depth and dimension. Finally he asked, “What am I looking at here?”

His response to the image provides a clue to a conversation which fascinates me. “What am I looking at here?” is a question all of us are asking all the time. Uncertainty is an essential element in the most important areas of our lives. Hope can’t exist without uncertainty. The same is true for love. Because the illusion of stereo photography can allow imagery to appear both real and abstract, the resulting duality suggests comparisons with life, which also appears real, yet often without the clarity most of us would prefer.

Many of these interactive photo constructions contain unique Fujichrome transparencies, tangible artifacts from the camera, from the exact time and place where each image was made. Placing photography outside the frame of conventional expectations, this work represents the uncertainty of life and its unanticipated experiences, the notion of space within space, and the dynamic of interactivity between the work and the observer.