William Larson is an American photographer who continuously experimented with different media in order to produce meaningful works and question the role of technology in the definition of an artistic language. His “Fireflies” series (1969–1978) deal with the possibility of introducing time and randomness into a photographic work, employing a cutting-edge technology for that time: the fax machine, namely: a Graphic Sciences DEX 1 Teleprinter.
The results are -partly- unintentional collages where texts and images are merged by the fax itself. Larson would feed the machine with pieces of paper, photographs and even sounds which could be visually translated by the fax. Glimpses of abstraction, surrealism and concrete poetry appear in this early conceptual exploration of digital technology.
I started to work and think of photography as a system of production, supporting a bias toward the additive possibilities of the medium, and less the subtractive, descriptive, or literal.William Larson
All images © William Larson