Delving into the Enchanted World of Fivefold-portraits and Self-partitioning


Delving into the Enchanted World of Fivefold-portraits and Self-partitioning

“Diagram Showing The Method Of Production Of Five Views of One Subject By Multiphotography” and “Gallery Arranged for Multiphotography”. Both illustrations are from Walter E. Woodbury and Frank R. Fraprie book Photographic Amusements, Including A Description of a Number of Novel Effects Obtainable with the Camera (ninth edition), American Photographic Publishing Co., 1922. Public Domain.

Discovered during a media-archeological investigation into optical illusions, trick photography, and discarded memorabilia, the photo-multigraph technique opened the door to an enchanted world of cloned appearances orbiting in a self-reflective solar system. Shapeshifting into our preferred artistic medium, this turn-of-the-century photographic technique becomes the video-multigraph. It is bizarrely noteworthy that self-isolation would become not only the subject of the piece, but also – due to the unforeseen spread of a recently mutated virus – the prevailing circumstances under which the work was to be completed. In Verfünfungseffekt, we use the medium of video to create a kaleidoscopic portrait-in-motion where the perspective-shifting shards of ego are recorded in a synchronized performance of solipsist intersubjectivity. The video-multigraph allows for the compositing of tiny offsets in time-shifting delays applied to one, or several, of the mirrored selves – shattering the cloned perfection, as well as the conformity, of the multiple presences. This optical illusion necessitates reflection on how media alters our perceptions of time and space; it thereby arouses wonder about our place in existence.

Keywords: Photo-multigraph, fivefold-portrait, mirror photography, video-multigraph, crisis of presence

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The magician-as-artist stands apart from the magician-as-trickster inasmuch as the former’s intention to deceive is plainly acknowledged beforehand, and conclusively reaffirmed in hindsight
Reading time: 12 min.


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