Previously, we featured Alireza Rostami and his Unity Camera, a camera made of empty film cassettes. This time, he’s back with another amazing idea – a “talking” camera.
While he admits that he’s only in the first step of this dream project, he hopes to inspire people, especially those who have the means to make these ideas come to fruition. His limited access to technology frustrates him.
” I have always loved handicrafts and a great interest in analogue photography. But I also think of the potential of bots maneuvering our devices in the future. The outdated technology in my country bothers me, I think that it restricts my ideas from flourishing. But I will never give up.”
The Golden Calf
Rostami shares that he draws inspiration from history, books, experiences, and stories of the past. For this project which he calls “The Golden Calf”, he turns to his family history. His ancestors from his mother’s side were belqis, of Iranian Jewish descent. While he’s not fluent in Hebrew, he learned a few sentences from his grandmother and recorded them in his talking camera. So how did he come up with this idea?
" I remember my grandmother reading me exciting stories from the Torah when I was a child. I fell in love with the story of the Golden Calf – a calf made of gold that could speak. So I dedicate this project in memory of my grandmother, who will be always in my heart. Most of my ideas are inspired by the stories she read to me."
Making Use of Electronic Waste
As always, Rostami’s resourcefulness was utilized in this project. He went to toy stores and asked for electronic waste that they do not need.
" I try to make new things out of garbage. I found some talking dolls, but I could not get the original board, so I opted for a cheap board and started working. This piece is only capable of storing eight seconds of recorded sound. My idea goes far beyond that, though, but for now, this is what I came up with."
Rostami dreams of developing this idea even further, such as a voice assistant for the camera. Something that could change the settings for you, warn you when the camera RAM or battery is running low, or if the photo is not well-lit.
" Once when I was taking photographs, I have been thinking about the possibility of communicating with my camera. I’d ask to increase or decrease the ISO, change the shutter speed, or control many of the settings using artificial intelligence."
Not only is Rostami admirable for being imaginative and inventive, but his generosity to share his ideas is also remarkable. He hopes to inspire young people who may be hesitating to move forward with their out-of-the-box ideas:
" My only suggestion is to think about everything and ask yourself: how does this device work? Once you understand it, think of ways to improve it or come up with an entirely new idea. Keep writing those ideas and making them better."
Follow Alireza Rostami on Instagram to see more of his projects and photos.