From the always amazing Coilhouse -
As you can see above, WMB’s cameras are beyond mere tools, more than means to an end. While many artists long for the process more than the product, Belger has redefined process-love completely. His projects sometimes plant their seeds through the items he collects, other times through ideas, upon the birth of which collecting begins. The camera he used to photograph AIDS victims is built with a vial of AIDS-infected blood, the one with which he captured the secret life of deer is crowned with antlers, expectant mothers were shot with a camera within which an infant’s heart sits still. He’s used bees, human skulls, religious relics, and more. Each device built by Belger contains its sacred object, each otherworldly photo series is just part of a ritual and carries with it the spirit of the camera, the concept, the execution itself.
I’ve always loved pinhole camera photography, partially because no other images look like pinhole camera images, and partially because you are making the camera yourself. There is an element of artisanship that precedes the picture taking. I’ve made cameras from gutted Holgas, I’ve made hand-crafted wooden ones, I’ve made them from coffee tins, I’ve made them from the slip case to a Sopranos DVD boxed set. Each one had its own unique character and style that seemed to match the images that it took.
My favorite one that I made was crafted out of a Folger’s coffee tin. I took a piece of PVC pipe and fixed it to the center of the tin, creating a pillar around which I wrapped the photopaper. Every 90 degrees on the outside of the tin, I had punched the pinholes. When I exposed the paper, I would get a full 360 degree shot. I don’t know what happened to that camera, but I loved the hell out of it while I had it.
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