Vessels is the genesis of a delicate interplay of time and motion – all-night-long exposures of Sailing Yachts (S/Y), Motor Yachts (M/Y) or Cruise Ships (M/S) at rest, drifting silently around their anchor at the mercy of the wind and currents.
Leaving the lens of his large-format analog camera open for up to eight hours over the course of the night, stopped down to its smallest aperture (f/64), nothing but the point source of artificial lights from the yacht’s superstructure and the gentle build-up of moonlight reflected off the surface of the sea register on Berger’s negative. The vessel’s slow and powerless circumnavigation around its anchor, helmed only by the changeable whim of the elements, plots a random and overlapping orbit. With every wave and gust of wind, the vessel yaws up and down and to and fro, oscillating like an electrocardiogram. More subtle is the faint passage of small tenders making their way back and forth to port and the distant glow of cruise ships painting the horizon in the course of their nocturnal crossing.
The resulting photograph reveals what the human eye cannot see — a hidden architecture of movement whose intricate details are rendered in light alone, guided by the hands of time, and drawn by the pencil of nature.
Printed in the negative as a facsimile copy of the original exposed sheet of film, these photographic recordings resemble finely applied graphite, charcoal or Indian ink that recall the linear magic of an Etch-A-Sketch drawing. Like the Etch-A-Sketch, the negative references a technology grounded in the not so distant past. What was once intrinsic to photographic process is all but alien to today’s younger generation.
Through his abstract and beguiling images, Berger considers the dichotomy of the seen versus unseen as a metaphor for how man-made objects re-contextualize and impact our natural environment. Punctuating an otherwise serene backdrop, these strange geometries; architectural, spherical, almost otherworldly in origin, echo a state of imbalance with the natural world and question the co-existence of these foreign invaders amidst a primordial seascape hence unchanged since the dawn of time.