The 'Traveling Temple of Light' was a Year of the Artist project hosted by UWE. The 'temple' toured the parks and public areas of Bristol in the summers of 2000,2001 & 2002.

The Temple is a camera obscura, which means literally 'dark room'. Images of the scene outside are projected through lenses onto screens within. Temple visitors, or 'voyeurnauts', sit inside surrounded by moving pictures of the outside world.

A camera obscura seems the perfect vehicle for a 'secular temple' - at once simple and profound, it focuses attention on the wonder of light and the sensory apparatus with which we perceive it. The project is inspired by the sedan chair obscuras that toured Europe in the 18th century, providing drawing aids for both amateur and professional artists and spurring the first experiments in photography. The wooden temple structure is based on a form used in sacred architecture for 2000 years, from the pagan pleasure domes of Late Empire Rome, through Persian mosques, to the Classical Baroque of 18th century England.

This obscura, however, has a twist. Visitors are supplied with drawing materials and encouraged to play the part of the pre- photographic topographer, while all the time being under surveillance by 21st century web technology, via an integral webcam. The observer will be observed.

see: http://www.digitalbristol.org/members/cameraob/ for a full description of this project.

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