What if you could use a simple device with a prism to “trace” an object on paper that was actually in front of you. Would this revolutionize how we do art?
It turns out that according to theory, that’s exactly how many of the 19th Century masters created their great works of art. And a hundred years passed, and we forgot all about it – to the point that it now feels like “cheating.”
The device that makes it possible is called a camera lucida, and it’s been well over a hundred years since they have been produced commercially. You can get them on eBay for 350 bucks or so.
But now Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin, a couple of university art professors, are running a Kickstarter project that will change all of that. They designed a modern camera lucida, dubbed a NeoLucida, and asked for $15,000 to produce 2,500 of them. They reached that within a couple of hours. The next day, they had reached $100,000 and all the NeoLucidas were spoken for. About 3,000 of us signed up to be kept informed (with a $1 or $2 pledge) if plans for more became available.
On May 9, they announced that an additional 5,000 would be produced (in addition to 500 “tinkerer kits”), and you could watch the pledges roll in on the Kickstarter page – it took less than 15 minutes for the pledges to double to $200,000. Another 24 hours have passed, and the pledges are still rolling in at $325,000 and over 8,000 supporters. Bear in mind this was a $15,000 project!
There are still 29 days to go and nearly all the rewards are gone. I expect we haven’t seen the last of the reward offerings though. Watch this Kickstarter campaign – it’s sure to make the news in the coming month. And if you don’t believe me, you’d better sign up before they’re all gone!
Here’s the video for the campaign – check it out: