Seeing how this project has been running since 1995 this maybe a very old story for some of you but one that hasn't been on Fstoppers yet. Harrod Blank has a unique "studio" in the form of a van... a Camera Van. Conceived of in a dream and constructed over two years the Camera Van has since left it's home in Berkeley, California, travelled across America, into Canada, Britain and Germany, capturing the astonished faces of those it encounters
"One night In the fall of 1993, Harrod Blank had a dream in which he covered his car with cameras and then drove around and took pictures of people on the streets. The public, unaware that the cameras worked, reacted naturally. At the end of the dream, Harrod looked at pictures taken with the van of faces frozen in the moment of awe, pictures so powerful that the next morning he decided to attempt to build such a vehicle in reality."
"With the help of Dan Lohaus and some other friends, Harrod spent the next two years designing and building the van. With a lot of trial & error, the van was completed in 1995 and made it's debut voyage in April leaving his home in Berkeley California, stoping in Houston and New Orleans and ending up in New York City where he would live and take pictures with the van for the following six months."
"The Camera Van's front grill features every polaroid camera ever made, from the Land Camera to the popular "One-Step" to The Swinger. The California license plate is personalized for this rolling icon, announcing to all who might wonder that before them stands the "CAMRA VN." The front bumper is lined with dangling 2" convex spot mirrors, a Mexican decorative flair, owing to Blank's years spent in Mexico City in the mid-eighties."
"The Camera Van's passenger side is both a gallery of antique collectible cameras and an interactive delight for the eyes! Four fully-functional 32" color TV monitors make up the frames of a giant film strip, while 36 separate slide viewers comprise the film strip sprocket holes. The monitors broadcast anything Blank wants to show, from one of his several films to the actual closed-circuit image of what the Van's working video and still cameras see. And in each of the slide viewers? A photo history of the Van's creation and a sampling of photos the Van has captured. On the door, a representation of the human eye glows and gazes outward in color lens filter, flashcubes and mirrored glass."