Image Fulgurator is a device used to physically manipulate other people’s photographs. The intervention takes place at the moment when the photograph is taken without the photographer noticing. The alteration only becomes visible afterwards. As long as a flash is used, the principle is adaptable to any camera or environment. Any object at which the Image Fulgurator is directed will affect and manipulate the snapshot of anyone, who aims photographing this object. This makes it possible to unnoticeably inscribe visual information onto the images of others. The Image Fulgurator works due to a sort of feedback-flash-projection which allows the projection of an image onto an object exactly at the same time as the object is being photographed by someone else. This intervention is entirely inconspicuous since is it only takes a few milliseconds. Technically, the Image Fulgurator functions like a traditional camera, only backwards. Instead of an unexposed film, an exposed and developed color slide was inserted and a flash built in behind the slide.
The flash projects the image on the slide through the lens and onto the object. This action is triggered by a built-in sensor that recognises flashes from nearby cameras. That way, the projection can automatically be synchronised with the moment of exposure of any nearby camera using a flash. The Image Fulgurator is housed in a regular single reflex camera case since most of the camera’s elements were re-used for the construction of the Image Fulgurator.
Fulguration #3 (Mao and Magritte), 2008 | inkjet print, 100 x 100cm
Fulguration #4 (Mao and Magritte), 2008 | inkjet print, 50 x 66cm
Fulguration #5 (May Day Riot Police), 2009 | inkjet print, 50 x 75cm
NO (Pope), collaboration with Santiago Sierra, 2011 | inkjet print, 60 x 43cm