Orb 5 (Long Island, New York) by Carlo Van de Roer
Photographer Carlo Van de Roer is willing to believe — or at least pretend that he might believe — in the unbelievable. His two most recent projects, Orbs and Portrait Machine Project, focus on supernatural phenomena: floating orbs and auras.
Van de Roer’s Orbs series includes dreamy, watery images from around the world; seascapes and landscapes feature figures ensconced in water who appear to be looking up at floating, colorful orbs. The project refers to balls of light commonly found in photos, and usually determined to be pollen, dust, or water, but sometimes described as ghosts, messengers from the beyond, or tropospheric plasma.
Van de Roer has wryly colored his orbs, making it clear that they were inserted after the photo was taken — thus contributing more to the timeless debate on post-production manipulation in photography than on the nature of the orbs themselves.
Terence Koh, 2008 from The Portrait Machine Project
The second series, the Portrait Machine Project utilizes an Aura Camera 600 which monitors sitters’ biofeedback rhythms via their palms and produces a vivid rainbow haze. A printed reading of the subject’s aura is also composed, letting the unseen tell all.
Recently, thanks to the research of Japanese scientists, aura believers found reason to rejoice: it turns out all living things really do glow with invisible light; what that light determines, personality or metabolism, is still up for debate.
Believable entities or not, one thing about Carlo’s work that is too good to be true is that we’ve just released two new editions from Orbs on 20×200. All of the proceeds from one of the editions will go to support the very expensive Portrait Machine Project. Stay tuned for more great art this coming week on 20×200.
Sara Distin is an Associate Director at Jen Bekman Projects, Inc.