About twelve years ago I found two, one foot by three foot "circuit camera" panoramic photographs in the basement of my grandparent's home. They were made by E.O. Goldbeck and my grandfather appears left of center in full military dress. One of the prints shows the soldiers with hats on, the second, hats off. Goldbeck, besides being one of the best known of all users of circuit cameras, had a service which photographed military regiments for over thirty years. Some of his photos ordered thousands of people into one image.
The book from Kodoji press Jet Master by Idan Hayosh, Corina Künzli and Salome Schmuki explores the overt order and hidden orders of group portraits and military weaponry.
Jet Master is an artist collaboration which started with Idan Hayosh's fascination with images which were made to sell military hardware. Fighter planes sit on tarmac surrounded by the various bombs, missiles, and payloads they can carry. The order of the weaponry is frighteningly similar to any formal group portrait wether from high school, sports team or commercial business.
The construction of the book is a collaboration between Hayosh and two graphic designers Corina Künzli and Salome Schmuki. They classified and arranged the images with a strategy in mind that both emphasizes their similarity but also hidden patterns.
The way the weaponry is represented shows a strategic effort to seduce. The symmetry of line and scale is easy for the viewer to accept - it appeals with child-like fascination. They present incredible force but with little thought to the actual destruction that could be unleashed. Just like sex can sell anything, the same psychological manipulation is in effect. With the inclusion of historical photos covering many decades, one realizes that this type of manipulation has been thought about (and apparently successful) for a long time.
Kodoji Press, headed by Winfried Heininger, publish well thought out and attractive books and Jet Master is no exception. It comes in two editions, one in 900 English copies and 200 in Hebrew.