These 35 images from a remote webcam above the harbor of Portland, Maine, have been driven backwards through the history of photographic reproduction by artist Gil Blank. Blank laser-engraved the image data onto bricks of machined graphite, scanned the bricks, and then printed those files using ink jet. The ink jet prints were scanned and printed in silver gelatin; the silver gelatin prints were then followed by photogravure, and so on, proceeding backwards through historical photographic technologies. As each subsequent print is scanned from a previous generation, it reproduces all the material artifacts of its forebears and compounds them with its own, perpetuating the original image only at the cost of effacing it entirely.
Asked to produce a suitable accompanying text, writer Matthew Stadler chose to translate parts of Book Eleven of The Odyssey, using a method developed by the artists Hadley + Maxwell. Taking seven English translations, from Alexander Pope to Richard Lattimore, he organized the books in chronological sequence and transcribed one word or phrase at a time from each, skipping words only when both word and exact grammatical placement were repeated.