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Camera as Performance

It used to be that personal photography was somewhat private, to be shared with a few people by quietly passing around an image, like reading a poem. Now the new pocket-sized Nikon Coolpix S1000pj, coming out next month in the United States, has a built-in projector so that those nearest and dearest to you can watch as if in a theater–on the ceiling of the bedroom, outdoors at a campfire, in the living room, maybe even on the hood of the car. The projected image is supposed to go up to forty inches and be projected as far as 6 1/2 feet away. Battery life for continuous projection is said to be up to one hour.

This would be a great way to show a portfolio in an impromptu meeting, or explain one’s photographic approach to strangers when working in a new place. I can imagine the great editing sessions that an enlightened photographer could have in a far-away country in which the subjects of the photos help select the best images. It’s also possible to imagine all the people who will be immediately re-viewing the lives that they lived only a few minutes before.

Reminiscent of MIT’s “Sixth Sense,” which I posted about before, this may not only be another way to look at photographs and short videos but perhaps another way to read books as well. Just lie down in bed and project the pages onto the ceiling, or on the kitchen table or the wall in front of you. Certainly it is a good system to preserve the lives of trees, although it may make it more difficult to flee the increasingly omnipresent screens.

Sometimes, more than the Age of Image, I think that we are entering the Age of Screens. Hopefully there will be a way out.


  1. Interesting. I can imagine this being very useful when visiting communities in the field where access to electricity is limited and lugging a laptop and projector is a pain in the arse.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 3:56 am | Permalink
  2. raj wrote:

    at $429 what this essentially becomes is a portable projector, assuming that it will project any image on the flash card.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 12:05 am | Permalink

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