• About
  • Process
  • Encounter
‘Black Maria’ was the name of Thomas Edison’s personal film studio. Custom built in 1893, before the invention of artificial light, the makeshift structure featured a retractable roof in order to channel the only powerful light source available: sunlight. Constructed on a circular base plate, the whole building could swivel 360 degrees around a central pivot, following the sun as it moves across the sky.

As the origin seed of moving image production, this design first set in motion the stranglehold which moving image media holds over culture today.
‘Bootlegging Black Maria’ is an artwork by Felix BH in which a reconstruction of Edison’s building is installed inside dubbing suite 5 of ‘De Lane Lea’ - the recently retired Warner Brothers post production facility. Whilst maintaining its original proportions, the recreation, with full swivel functionality, is scaled to fill the dimensions of the room. Only millimetres of breathing space allow it to fit, the bare minimum. The work examines the unique history of a structure, a location and a collision between the two.

Bootlegging Black Maria