William G. Larson’s Dislocated Connectivity via the Hasselblad 1000F and the Graphic Sciences DEX 1 Teleprinter.

Scene: 1966. William G. Larson purchases a second-hand camera from a faculty member of the Rochester Institute of Technology. He modifies its focal plane shutter to a narrow vertical slit in order to lengthen the exposure time of the film.

Over the next six years, using this slit screen photography, he produces nudes that portray the fluidity of moving images within a static photograph. He calls them:

Figure in Motion.

A Hasselblad 1000F is bequeathed from a professor to a graduate student.
Time is passing.
The camera is filled with a clock motor.
Time is passing.
A nude model rotates 360 degrees on a platform.
Time is passing.
Black & White film is exposed through a sliver of shutter, nine minutes of exposure for the whole length of the film.
Time is passing.
The picture is recorded line by line.
Time is passing.
A figure in motion is our fragmented selves. An edge painting on the pages of an 18th Century book. A Cubist view.
Time loses track.

Scene: 1969. The fax machine catches William G. Larson’s attention. He witnesses a presentation in which an image of Muhammed Ali is transmitted from Chicago to Philadelphia. It takes six minutes to reproduce. The image is in high-definition. At Temple University in Pennsylvania, Larson gains a Graphic Sciences DEX 1 Teleprinter for the Tyler School of Art where he teaches. 

Over the next nine years he manipulates this piece of machinery to produce the first ever electronically montaged pictures. He calls them:


An electronic static surrounds, obsfuscating. A grainy stream of digital information - music, voice, sound, images and text. William G. Larson stands through the static with a net, capturing each piece of glowing signal, and one by one lowers them onto a page, using the Graphic Sciences DEX 1 Teleprinter. He is catching fireflies.

The DEX 1, a predecessor of the fax machine, has a stylus. It burns the images it receives through audio code onto a carbon paper. The stylus sparks and flickers with contact. It is making fireflies.

Firefly light flashes in patterns that are unique to each species. The audio code flashes in patterns unique to the digital information it receives. Illumination.

The images on each Fireflies photograph are emulated randomly, mimicking ‘the imperfect operations of memory or dreams’. Imperfect because they disintegrate and fade. Like the intermittent lights of a firefly.

Here come the real stars to fill the upper skies / And here on earth come emulating flies- Fireflies in the Garden, Robert Frost

Text by Shana Chandra S/TUDIO