By ANNIE LARMON  |  February 17, 2010

Taking the idea of collaboration across institutional borders and the restrictions of time and space, David K. Ross’s multi-media installation investigates the various methods of image production and perception throughout history. In “Alhazen’s Problem” Ross focuses on a conceptual connection between the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine, the ICA, and the birthplace of Alhazen, creator of the camera obscura. Digital and analogue photos were taken from a camera obscura at the Children’s Museum that was pointed in the direction of Alhazen’s birthplace in Basra, Iraq. Depending on how the direction was calculated, the camera pointed either at the ICA building, or at the South Portland oil tanks — a site, Ross argues, of Iraqi and American exchange. A live video feed from the camera is also projected in the gallery at the ICA. Of the layers in this project, the most pleasing element of the installation is a kaleidoscopic latex print adhered to the gallery window, blocking the view into the gallery save a small circle that creates a sort of camera obscura of its own.

Annie Larmon can be reached at

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