The View-Master stereo viewer has been in toy chests since the 1930s and has given children and adults glimpses into worlds unknown. The View-master company offered reels in various subjects from storybook fairy tales to educational subjects and travelogues. Always wanted to see the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower but didn’t have the means to get there? Simply insert the reel, hold the viewer up to a light source, and click your way through seven detailed slides of picturesque scenery in brilliant Kodachrome color and “Spectacular Stereo 3D!” This transcendent and private viewing experience is unique to the use of View-master toy. These are qualities I seek to capitalize on in this series entitled Hindsight.
In this investigative series, I use the vintage View-master stereo camera and reel-making equipment to create a collection of images that communicate a more personal narrative. To me nostalgia conjures very mixed emotions: I feel at once at home and a stranger in my own memories. To express this visually, I have photographed my current world in a manner that attempts to imitate the places, spaces, dreams, and events from my memory archive. Individually each image reads like a splinter of a broader memory. Collectively the seven images per reel highlight the surreal and fragmented nature of memory recall. Through this unique, immersive viewing experience, I aim to insight the phenomenon of nostalgia and impart the viewer with reverence to their own childhood memories.
BFA Thesis: University of Colorado Denver, 2021
Featured in DARIA, May 2021, Article by Olivia Kayang