THE PIGEON PHOTOGRAPHER
The Pigeon Photographer is a three-part publication concerned with the development of aerial photography in early 20th century Germany. The focus is on Julius Neubronner, a pharmacist, who patented the design of a camera that would automatically take pictures of the earth below while being attached to a flying pigeon carrying medicines from his apothecary to the local sanatorium; an invention that was also employed for war surveillance and other non-artistic ends.
Made up of a photographic book, a newspaper with early-20th century articles about pigeon photographers and an essay by Joan Fontcuberta on the dronification of birds, The Pigeon Photographer makes available the little-known work of Neubronner in the form of an artist’s book. The aim is to reflect on the relationship between art and technology on a micro-historical level. The dominating standpoint is that of unmanned cameras and their idiosyncratic gaze as vehiculated by flying pigeons.
The Pigeon Photographer won the Historical Book Award at the Prix du Livre at Rencontres d’Arles in 2018.