The Screamotron3000 is an converted boom box that takes a photo when you scream. Think Rube Goldberg meets the Wizard of Oz. By using a machine, I hope to offer a window through the inherently artificial process of portraiture into real human emotion.
To this end, I was partially successful. Believe it or not, people can be just as awkward and self conscious while screaming. Better images often came from me staying in the room, stoking the flame of emotion, and guiding them through the process. The photographer matters. Who knew?
One thing I did not anticipate was the project's mass appeal. A line of people from all walks of life showed up. They brought dogs and costumes. They cursed and spit at me, called me names and made their babies cry for the camera. Even the press came. Seeing your art project distilled into a 20 second local news clip is surreal, bordering on disconcerting.
What created the demand? Are people clamoring for authenticity in their media, a release of emotion? Maybe it is simple. Just that there are a lot of people who have something to scream about.
-Billy Hunt 2012