The Portrait Machine Project by Carlo Van de Roer are photos made with a Polaroid aura camera developed in the 1970s by an American scientist in an attempt to record what a psychic might see.This project explores the idea that a portrait photograph can reveal an otherwise unseen and accurate insight into the subject’s character.
The subject is connected directly to the camera by hand-plates that measure biofeedback, which the camera depicts as an aura of color in the Polaroid and translates into a printed diagram and description explaining the camera’s interpretation of the subject. It also explains separately, what the the subject is expressing and how they are seen by others, such as the photographer, suggesting the camera bypasses the control of the photographer and subject in making the portrait. This printout, which includes information about the subjects emotions, potential, aspirations, future, etc. is presented to the viewer along with each photograph in a similar manner to a caption.