It looks like an igloo on the outside, but step inside and it feels like a world of magic! This is the Compound Camera, an incredible, 20-foot installation by Pneuhaus, for the Pawtucket Art Festival. Featuring 109 pinhole cameras constructed using inflatable fabric and other components, the installation showcases a vivid collage of images from the inside. Designed to resemble the compound eye of a worker ant (which has 109 parts), the Compound Camera feels like you’re inside a kaleidoscope!
The images projected by the pinhole camera’s aperture are all inverted, but in focus. In fact, you’re invited to touch and interact with the fabric. Pressing against it makes the image even crisper, allowing you to play with image size and focus. The entire installation is completely analog and uses no electricity whatsoever. It’s rather fascinating to see how technologies from so far back in the past (the pinhole camera or the camera obscura can be traced back to 500 B.C.) can still be used to delight and amaze us even today!