Photography is one of the newest inventions in the world of art. In fact, it wasn’t until about the 1940’s that it became generally accepted as an artistic tool, rather than just a scientific gadget. Because of its relatively recent inception, there are still many questions as to what the medium might ultimately become. Along the journey, many false claims have been made, and will be made.
One of the latest and greatest scams is the biofeedback device “AuraCam.” By connecting a subject’s body to an electronic device which interacts with the camera, supposedly an individual’s aura can be captured in a photograph. The end result is pretty unspectacular — it looks like overexposed film that has been photoshopped with rainbow colors. Visiting AuraCam’s website, I felt like I was watching an infomercial.
Nonetheless, despite the uninspired packaging of this product, there are interesting questions about the nature of photography that arise from this concept. What is the nature of the photograph? Why do we feel it to be “authentic”? And, how can we measure what kinds of energy are being transferred from the body to the lens to the paper (or screen)?