Wearing Thin

20 March 2017

Dear Gillian Wearing,

Please do not send us a take-down notice for breach of (c)opyright. In return we are happy to tell our many ones of readers that your current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is on until 29 May 2017, and urge her, I mean them, to go and see it.

Yours sincerely,

John Johnson (Mr.)



Inspired by recursion hell, I thought I should have a go at contriving some recursive images of my own. My plan was simple. Surely all I had to do was hook up an external monitor, open the Mac Photo Booth application and place the monitor facing the screen of the laptop. In this way I thought I should able to create an instant Droste effect. But when when I pressed the ‘take photo’ button, all I got was a white screen as if I’d overloaded the system.

In the end I had to resort to the unsatisfactory solution of using a third device, viz my camera. It was difficult to get the two screens parallel while at the same time keeping the camera out of the picture:

This next one was a bit better in terms of the angle but didn’t show the recurring image as well.

At the end of the day, I wonder if I could achieve better results more simply just by using the screen-grab feature.

…I could end up being here all night at this rate.