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Wailin’ Wednesday: The Ghosts of Folk Fest

Wailin’ Wednesday: The Ghosts of Folk Fest

Take a trip back in time to a steampunk, Victorian era. You just might see some g-g-g-g-GHOSTS!

Have no fear, folkies – those shadowy images are phantograms, created by using a special camera and viewed through red and cyan-coloured filters. These 3D images viewed inside Phineas Farnsworth’s Phanto-graphic Stereo-morpho-scope are returning to our festival’s Prairie Outdoor Exhibition, courtesy of its makers Rick Unger and Gilbert Detillieux.

Phantograms date back to the Renaissance, when frescoes were being created to appear as 3D images when viewed from ideal angles. Modern examples of this “trompe-l'œil” technique can be seen in the chalk art of Julian Beever and other artists.

The modern stereoscopic image technique (known as “binocular vision”) was first patented in 1926 by Alfred John Macy. Rick and Gilbert are thrilled that in 2015, their fifth year exhibiting the project, it will embrace “Victorian steampunk weirdness,” says Rick.

“Each year we create three new phantograms to display. Over the years we have had several still-life images but moved more and more towards portraits of local musicians including Del Barber, Keri Latimer, Doug and Jess Reimer, and Al Simmons – all of whom very graciously posed for us! This summer we will be changing things up a little.”

To enhance the viewer’s experience, Rick and Gilbert create elaborate viewing stations for their pieces, allowing viewers to literally climb aboard and view the images.

Rick and Gilbert particularly enjoy watching kids interact with their exhibit. “It is hilarious to watch kids reach around and try to grab at the objects in the phantograms!”

Tags

gilbert detillieux, phantograms, prairie outdoor exhibition, rick unger

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