The Volca project is a speculative photography research project that is in parts a proposal, a sensory experiment and also continual work in progress. Volca is an experi- mental camera apparatus for recording what Flusser [8, 9] would term ’technical images’, that is, images produced by machines or technical processes. It’s design is to deliber- ately open the discussion of what it is to be photographer, or collaborator or even facilitator of a complex apparatus with a discrete system at it’s core. A system that extends beyond the physical body of the device and reaches into the heart of our human culture of creation, consumption, reflec- tion, storytelling and the active shaping of our identity and self image.
The Camera is seen as a collaborative apparatus, as the camera has ’possibility’ encoded into it. The photographer or ’facilitator’ of the apparatus selects one of these possibil- ities in a collaborative process with the apparatus, and the program of image production encoded within it.
The project has several separate aspects dealing with hard- ware, software, interaction design and media and photo- graphic theory. The making, distribution, display and con- sumption of these new speculative photographs is a vital part of the investigation of what can be considered the sys- tem of photography. A system where camera and photographer are only a small part of the philosophical whole. This paper and the body of work it describes is aimed at a dis- cussion of what it is to engage with speculative design and what the notion of speculative photography may be.