The Portrait Machine Project

Photographs by Carlo Van de Roer

Text by Val Williams

Availability: In stock

Signed Copy
$40.00
9 3/4 x 12 inches 88 pages, 40 images Hardcover 978-886208-268-6 2013

In The Portrait Machine Project, Brooklyn-based New Zealand photographer Carlo Van de Roer explores the idea that a camera can reveal otherwise hidden facets of a subject’s character, and their relationship with the photographer and viewer. Van de Roer uses a Polaroid aura camera, developed in the 1970s in an attempt to record what a psychic might see. His subjects--friends, family, artists Miranda July, Terence Koh and Aurel Schmidt, author James Frey--are connected by sensors to the camera, which translates biofeedback into information about their characters and how they are viewed. The camera depicts this information as color in the Polaroid and as a printed description and diagram. In this, his first book, Van de Roer prompts us to question what we expect from a portrait, particularly when it’s of someone we think we know.


Carlo Van de Roer (born in 1975, Wellington, New Zealand) received a BFA from Victoria University before working and exhibiting internationally in the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France. Van de Roer has received the ADC Young Guns Award, the APA Silver to Pixels Award for Fine Art, the PDN Pix Award, and has been named a Top 50 Photographer by Photolucida and received an honorable mention for the BMW–Paris Photo Prize. His work has drawn notice by the New York TimesNew YorkerINTERVIEWVogue ItaliaWired, and NPR. Van de Roer currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

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