2019 - Ongoing
Tampa, Florida, United States; San Diego, California, United States; Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Artist Rachel Treide became interested in stereography in 2018 while writing her undergraduate thesis on the topic. As a form of hands-on research, she acquired a Stereo Realist camera and began making her own work with it. She fell in love with the medium but was frustrated by the lack of tools available to those working in stereography, namely the absence of accessible, high-quality stereoscopes. Wanting to create a new model of modern stereoscope that would be well-suited to exhibition and collection, she teamed up with product designer Andres Acuna.
Acuna had attended a May 2019 exhibition ("LOOK: Life Seen Through a Feminine Lens") that featured 31 of Treide's stereographs housed in rudimentary stereoscopes and displayed on a custom light table that Treide had built herself. Acuna was already interested in making photography more haptic, having designed a camera that would record not only photographs but also biometrics and environmental data, and was fascinated by the three-dimensional images contained inside the viewers. In September of 2019, Treide and Acuna began discussing how they could create a new model of stereoscope that would overcome some of stereography's most pressing obstacles, desiring to create the tools that would make stereography more accessible to anyone who is interested in the medium. They decided that the first model would be an ambient light-illuminated stereoscope that allows for the easy changing of stereo cards while protecting the delicate slides inside.
As the project progressed from sketches to digital designs to 3D printed models, graphic designer Grace Evans was brought onboard to direct the project's overall aesthetic direction, determine packaging and branding needs, and create a custom design concept, including logos, subtext, and color schemes. While not desiring to create a trendy "brand," the team recognized that a well-designed, polished, and cohesive product from beginning to end was necessary in order to create a tool that others would be proud to exhibit and sell their work in. The name, "Visionary Stereoscopes," was landed on as a nod to the binocular human vision that stereographs imitate as well as the goals and intentions of the team as they seek to create something that does not yet exist...but needs to.
The ultimate goal of Visionary Stereoscopes is to provide artists, students and educators with the tools needed to effectively display, sell and collect stereographs. Anticipating a revived interest in the practice and potential of stereography, Visionary intends to be at the front of the next stereographic revolution, designing the stereoscopes that will house the work of a new generation of photographers.