Oil on canvas, plexiglas and print on dibon, sliding on a solid wood support

108 x 108 x 8 cm

While the inventors of historic photographic techniques are well-known, the same cannot be said of the men and women who perfected the more recent techniques, the complexity of which probably required the participation of actual research teams. From the ekta and the Polaroid to digital photography, an innovation that has turned the world of the image upside-down in all its dimensions, no name is associated to these technological advances, nor appears in the photography inventors hall of fame that seems to stop in the early 20th century.

And yet, for a few years, various portraits of Steven Sasson have been circulating on the internet and in the media. This american engineer who used to work for Kodak, conceived in 1975 the first digital camera prototype and applied for a patent in 1978, without fully grasping, it seems, the impact of his invention. His rather wobbly-looking device makes us smile today : reminding us of a slide projector rather than a camera, it allowed to record a black and white image of 0,01 megapixels, that we could then watch on a small television monitor. From 2000 onward, Steven Sasson received numerous distinctions, which probably explains the sudden appearance and circulation in the media of a few official portraits where one can see him proudly brandishing his machine, as a new american idol. But isn’t it strange that Kodak should now claim its place as a precursor of a technology that nevertheless lead it to bankruptcy, by placing on a pedestal a humble inventor that history will have shelved with so many others ?