The Francis Collection

Collection Two . The Estate

The Canoli

Mechanical Film Camera with Cycloptical Lens

The Model C2 Canoli is a mass-produced camera known mostly for its odd defects. A rare Florida-made knockoff of the Canon A-1, the manufacturer was known for shipping units that were missing entire parts of its construction. The manual came only in Russian and Arabic, and no service or warranty was granted. Lina Rae's particular camera bears a sticker claiming it "PASSED" quality control despite having no built in rewind crank or viewfinder. She fashioned homemade ones based on the manual illustrations.

After Lina Rae met Francis, she began to modify the Cycloptical lenses Bill Vernon had engineered to adapt to her camera body. She and Francis used the camera to take numerous abstract photographic images that approximated multi-dimensional vision to the film plane. They discovered, too, that the lenses were actually sensitive to the user of the camera, altering the image depending on who was looking through the viewfinder and what they were thinking about when they released the shutter. In this way, the camera itself was responsible for altering the course of Cycloptical study.