Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny

i-d47daa0e501c03f664fb006e9ac1d6f8-100320_cov.jpg

From Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny by Edward Bateman

In "Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny," artist Edward Bateman creates images that explore photography's role as historical evidence. Presented as a collection of discovered carte de visites, this book documents a forgotten age of mechanical wonders. Carte de visites were an immensely popular form of photography in the last half of the nineteenth century. They were widely traded and collected, with subjects ranging from portraits of everyday people to those of luminaries. Bateman uses this history to question the idea that all photographs are bound to a particular moment in time. Combining 19th century imagery with fabricated automatons, he creates images of the past with an iconography that is usually used to depict the future. They invite a comparison between automatons and cameras; for the first time in human history, objects of our creation were looking back at us. He imagines an era where memory and change marched hand in hand, creating the world we live in today and leaving behind worlds that only exist in images.

Bateman's book is #58 in Nazraeli Press' "One Picture Book" series. As described in the New Yorker, "Made in editions of five hundred, each book is sixteen pages, the last of which has an original signed and numbered print. Collectible and affordable, the books are an attempt to democratize art, following from Pichler's belief that anybody should be able to buy an original artwork." The books are priced on a sliding scale; as they sell out, the price goes up; Mechanical Brides is currently $100.

More like this

Every time I move to a new home, I try really hard to get rid of all my extra stuff - or at least to put it in storage. But when it comes to books, I have no willpower. Regarding my ten-pound, 6-inch-wide, half-unbound early-twentieth century Funk & Wagnall's dictionary, there wasn't even a…
tags: book review, owls, woodpeckers, birds, photography, Paul Bannick, The Owl and the Woodpecker Most Americans have not seen all of the 41 species of owls and woodpeckers that share the North American continent with us, but not only has Paul Bannick seen them all, but he has photographed them…
Through the end of May, UMBC's Albin O Kuhn gallery is hosting a large exhibition of postmortem daguerreotypes, death masks, coffin plates, etc. from the collection of Dr. Stanley Burns. Medical ephemera always have an emotional valence, because they represent patients who suffered, struggled…
De prospectiva pingendi, Book 3, figure lxivPiero della Francesca (c 1412-92) This month's Lancet has an interesting article by G.D. Schott, linking Piero della Francesca's pioneering orthographic projections to technologies like fMRI: In the neurosciences today, images of the brain and its…