Basically, this flight of fancy came around while I was sitting around with a bunch of friends drinking beer while talking about the effect of auto everything cameras on the business, when we started joking about how all that the camera left for the operator to do was to see. Well, why not a camera where one didn't need to see? Talking to my former engineering buddies, they all agreed this was possible, but almost universally agreed that the robotics would be the limiting factor at this time, not as I expected, the algorithisms for shape and form.
My father has just descended into virtual blindness from macular degeneration; he can see just a bit at the edges (shapes lights etc). He's been experimenting with digital, enlarging images hugely and scrolling around on a monitor looking at the details. (looks very weird as he actually has to look away from the monitor to see anything at all.) He shoots mostly family type images, but some of them are quite good. We've been kidding him...not bad for a blind man, that kind of stuff.
Anyway, due to my dads condition, I have been musing about the strength of such offerings and how the art world in general would approach such a situation. I had a friend that once tried an unsighted photographic project. He tied an auto everything camera with remote to the neck of his Saint bernard with a self designed circuit to automatically fire the thing every 5 minutes. The premise was that a randomly fired camera would eventually come up with a good image.
He then let the dog roam the neighborhood. Results of the dog pictures were mixed - lots of blank walls and sides of cars (Lots of time spent marking territory, I assume) - and 2 images of (other dogs) butts, but one image was really good (low level street photography).
So, does the dogs image speak for itself? By that I mean does the compositional power (of the random image) superceed the lack of intent by a human operator?
(While not a totally apt comparison, Beethoven wrote beautiful music after he was deaf.......)