Although it appears to be a camera, the Image Fulgurator is a device that produces interventions in the photographs of others. It functions by generating an extremely rapid or “flash” projection of an image, which is triggered by other nearby camera flashes by means of an internal sensor. Different slides can be inserted into the Image Fulgurator to project various images onto objects. Julius von Bismarck has used the machine to project a cross onto the speaker pulpit of Barack Obama, Magritte’s dove onto a portrait of Mao, the German insignia of the eagle onto policemen during May Day demonstrations, and the word “NO” over the Pope administering mass.
The insertion of such signs and symbols into images taken by nearby photographers, initially remains invisible. The manipulation occurs at the moment the photograph is taken but is only noticeable on the final image. Although patented, this invention has meanwhile been copied and used widely.