Patrícia J. Reis Patrícia J. Reis

Penetrating Black Box




closed-circuit electronic installation, 120x260x60 cm. 2 single-channel videos in closed-circuit, microcontroled system, 2 sonny digital cameras, stepper motors, metal, wood,

The installation proposes the photographic apparatus as a “black box” and as a metaphor to reflect upon the relation between the private and public space of the image. Inspired by Vilém Flusser’s writings on photography, the artist employs his concepts of faith and magic, event and happening, towards the “coded cameras”, questioning the existence of the political space of the digital image. In the installation Penetrating the black box, Reis creates a “scene” consisting of a mechanical apparatus that is programmed in order to automatically trigger two photo digital cameras (at different moments) inside a black box. The output image from the cameras is transmitted in real-time onto two monitors.

The mechanical apparatus with two long arms penetrates the black box in a slowly programed gesture, accomplishing the artist’s politically based decision to trigger the cameras or take photographs. On the other hand, the cameras that happen to be inside the black box in a specific position receive this command by chance, turning the previous event into a happening or a digital image. By displacing the camera’s point of view from the private and occult space of the black box to the private but visible space of the monitors, the viewer becomes a photographer, incorporating the camera’s point of view and completing the closed-circuit installation.


Penetrating the black box

Solo show

Venue: Artistic Bokeh,  Museum Quartier — Electric Avenue

Vienna, Austria, (2016).

Curator: Coded Cultures

Something other than photography

Group show

Venue: Edith-‐Russ-‐Haus für Medienkunst

Oldenburg, Germany, (2013).

Curator: Claudia Giannetti

Penetrating the black box

Solo show

Venue: Mz Baltazar’s Lab

Vienna, Austria, (2013).

Curator: Lale Rodgarkia Dara



Development, concept and production: Patrícia J. Reis