Admit it: You like taking the occasional, strategically-positioned self portrait. Well, for you selfie-lovers out there, here’s some good news: If you help German artist Susanna Kraus and fund her Kickstarter campaign, you can bring back the glory days of the old-fashioned photo booth and avail of a life-size, black-and-white print produced in only 10 minutes, through IMAGOphotour, the “world’s biggest mobile self-portrait camera.”
First, a bit of history behind this machine. German inventor and physicist (and Susanna’s father) Wener Kraus co-created the IMAGO 1:1 camera with artist Erhard Hößle in the 1970s. It was initially designed to take life-size portraits that are printed on specially developed black and white paper. Due to removal of this specialty paper from the market, the user of the 7x4x3 meter-sized machine ceased and was not used for 30 years. Though the original 70s version of the camera is not designed for travel, visitors can come see it in an art room in Berlin, Germany, where it is permanently located.
Presently, Susanna is appealing to the masses through a Kickstarter page she created, hoping to raise $143,400 or more in order to bring a mobile version of the the IMAGO 1:1 camera to the public. The IMAGOphotour analog camera, an updated version of Kraus’s pet project, will be reconstructed using lightweight aluminum materials that will make it more portable and travel-ready. It will be built by Susanna herself, with the help of her two sons and knowledge passed on to them by their grandfather.
A pledge of $255 and above will afford you a unique self-portrait once the project is complete. There are only 17 days left, and so far $34,809.15 has been raised by 108 supporters. Susanna has to raise an amount of over $143,400 for the project to be a go; otherwise, she would have to return the pledges and postpone the project.
Imagine your latest Instagram, Twitpic, or photo upload as a life-size, black and white print. You may not be able to post it on Facebook and do it justice, but you will have a one-of-a-kind self portrait to enjoy in person. If the project reaches its target, the team will release their travel schedule and will hit cities all over the world that have extended them invitations, namely New York, Houston, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Oslo, and Shanghai.
To contribute or learn more about the project, visit Susanna’s Kickstarter page.