America`s Finest

Lynn Hershman Leeson

America`s Finest ,
Co-workers & Funding
  • america's finest
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In 1830, both the camera and the colt revolver were invented. more than a half century later, in 1888 Etienne Jules Maray perfected a gun that substituted film for bullets. There has long been a historical relationship between the camera and the gun, both use essential ideas of capture surveillance and shooting. The associative notions of gun/camera/trigger link all media representation to lethal weapons.

America's Finest is a camera gun designed to document the horrors of our century perpetrated by weapons and translated into memory through the media. When the trigger is squeezed, the viewer is pasted within the gunsite. The image is captured in miniature. This fades into other scenes; ghost-like segments overlay each other. The viewer experiences immersion, loss of control and transformation into a floating non-body image, which revives, is reborn and fades again.

Pulling the trigger turns the viewer into both an agressor and subsequent victom of his/her own actions.

The weapon becomes an assault and conscientious objectifier to what it sees, tracks and records.

There are 40 images. These images are held by a frame-buffer. In the gun barrel are an lcd monitor and video equipment connected to a hidden computer with video grabbing and mixing capabilities. This piece uses a targa plus graphics adaptor, custom software programmed by Paul Tompkins in C, a 3inch active matric color lcd monitor, monochrome video camera and an elo mn401E microcamera.
  • aesthetics
    • immersive
    • interactive
    • uncanny
    • visual
  • genres
    • installations
      • interactive installations
  • subjects
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • photography
    • Media and Communication
      • motion pictures (visual works)
    • Power and Politics
      • military
      • warfare
Technology & Material