When you first look at Esteban Pastorino Díaz's Aerial series you quickly guess that you are looking at a scale model set. There are scenes of what look like tract housing, views of dump trucks, airplanes, and trains. All these objects could be found in a child's toy box. But as you peruse more of these photographs you note that there is something awry. These are very complicated landscapes that lead to the conclusion that the scenes are real.
Then we posed the question to the artist. "Are these toys?"
"No," he explained, "They are real, the photographs were taken from a kite!"
Once you take in this odd situation, you begin to ask more questions. Briefly stated, the images are produced by using a Japanese kite and attaching the handmade pinhole type camera approximately 50 yards from the kite, flying it around and clicking a radio controlled shutter. The technical aspect of this series exemplifies how Esteban loves to invent. His Town panoramicas series involves using a handmade motorized strip camera attached to a car window. This produces a continuous panoramic image that stretches and condenses the imagery, taken in 12 seconds.
Like Harold Edgerton, Esteban Pastorino demonstrates his aptitude for science and engineering, inventing other ways of seeing. These are not 'staged reality' sets as used by David Levinthal, James Casebere and Thomas Demand. Rather it is a topsy-turvy view of the real world in real time. These photographs remain a perfect blending of art and science, complete with the addition of wonderment.
Burt and Missy Smith Finger
Founders and Curators of
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
ESTEBAN PASTORINO DÍAZ
My speech has as principal axis the existing relationships between the photography and its principal registers: time and space.
The capacity to register time is, indeed, the most important aspect I wish to emphasize. This aspect becomes evident when temporality is distorted and I create a fiction of the extension of the photographic instant and it is the extreme expansion of such instant that evidences this capacity.
The change of perception of space is the second axis on which my work is articulated. This change takes place when the representation codes of the photography are interfered with. This interference is produced by means of the no-utilization of the central perspective, the revolving of the tridimensional space encompassing the plane, the inclusion of effects specifically corresponding to the optic system, or the panoramic concept. As of this concept of a double way to perceive the image is created. The perception of the details, in extremely oblong proportional images forces a closeness that isolates the spectator from the whole. On the contrary, the needed distance to observe the whole, constrains the appreciation of the detail itself.
Esteban Pastorino Díaz
Esteban Pastorino Díaz was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1972. During his childhood and adolescence, he was fascinated by the manual work involved in making airplane models, his hobby for several years. Interested in mechanics, he decided to attend Escuela Técnica Otto Krause in Buenos Aires. In 1993, he graduated as a mechanical technician and after three years of studying mechanical engineering, he became interested in photography. After doing a short basic course in the medium, he decided to give up his formal studies and to focus on photography.
During 1995–96 he took a two-year course in advertising photography while he worked as an photographer’s assistant. Through this experience he realized that the world of commercial photography was not his place. In 1997 he met Juan Travnik, a well-known Argentine photographer/curator, and attended his workshops for more than two years. He then focused on his own projects, which draw on his technical background. For instance, the series KAP comprises aerial pictures taken from a kite, and his panoramic series was made with a panoramic strip camera he designed and built. In 2001, he received the Photographer of the Year Prize awarded by the Argentinean Association of Art Critics.
He is currently a resident at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, where he is developing new projects.