These pictures are taken with a camera that is, by most definitions, broken: an old Polaroid SX-70 camera that I rescued from a yard sale last year. I’ve always loved this camera. It is an ingeniously conceived, complicated bundle of gears and switches with dozens of moving parts packed in tight like a chrome and leather pistol.
With its first use I realized the camera wasn’t functioning properly. It sometimes spills out 2 pictures at a time and the film often gets stuck in the gears, exposing and mangling them in unpredictable ways. The image as it is exposed within the camera becomes pulled and stressed by these violent mechanisms, often to abstraction. Before long I was participating in its process, collaborating with it. I've figured out how to control and accentuate aspects of the camera's flaws but the images themselves are always a surprise. Each one is determined by the idiosyncrasies of the film and the camera.
William Miller is a veteran photojournalist and native New Yorker. Born in 1969 he studied photography at Bard College with Larry Fink and Stephen Shore. His work has appeared in Saveur, Harpers, Paris Match, Spin, GQ, Stern, the New York Post, the Daily News, The Globe and Mail among others and his clients have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Human Rights Watch, Mercy Corps, Doctors Without Borders and Sundance Channel.
His art photography has also been seen in Lenscratch, F-Stop Magazine, Hyperallergic, Lens Culture, El Pais, Feature Shoot, exhibited at Griffin Museum, Soho Photo gallery, Wall Space gallery and recently won the 2011 Celeste Prize for Photography.