Vortographs

The vortograph was the first completely abstract kind of photograph, it is composed of kaleidoscopic repetitions of forms achieved by photographing objects through a triangular arrangement of three mirrors. Alvin Langdon Coburn, a member of the Photo-Secession group and a pioneer in nonobjective photography, invented vortography in 1917 and remained the principal advocate and practitioner of the technique. Coburn’s experiments with the technique lasted only a short while.

Vortographs

Vortographs

Vortographs

Vortographs

The name is a reference to the Vorticist group of British writers and painters. The fractured planes and complex space characteristic of vortography reflect the Vorticists’ as well as Coburn’s own interest in Cubism.

2017 History of Graphic Design

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