Tossed in Space, Suspended in Time: Photographer Todd McLellan

“It all started from a kindergarten finger-painting class” ~ Todd McLellan, photographer


Or did it? I was curious to find out when I interviewed McLellan last week.  I caught up with the Canadian as part of the Design Beats:  Makers event hosted by WIRED and Marriott Hotels & Resorts. #Culturazzi

Much of the subject matter of his stop-motion, three-dimensional photography and videography is drawn from retro mechanical devices—vintage typewriters, rotary phones, or pre-digital cameras.

I wanted to know if his fascination with assembling and disassembling these devices was derived from a nostalgic impulse, such as finger painting; or, perhaps a more modern appreciation of the inner workings of future technology.

McLellan is an avid collector of found objects.  A textbook tinkerer, he is as intrigued with the mechanisms on the inside as he is with the industrial design that houses them.

Photographer: Todd McLellan

Photographer: Todd McLellan
McLellan’s newest series from his Motion/Stills collection is called Disassembly. After an almost obsessive disassembly and reassembly, McLellan unceremoniously tosses the typewriter, or an old wind-up clock from a great height as he takes high speed photographs of its descent somehow managing to zero in on each individual piece of the soaring whole…the rotary dial of the phone, the hold button, the individual keys of the typewriter.

Photographer: Todd McLellan

Photographer: Todd McLellan
What results is a cacophony and a symphony at once—a pictorial celebration of the past, the present, and the future of technology—frozen in time and space.  McLellan’s viewer is just left looking up to the sky, wondering where the pieces will fall.
Photography by Todd McLellan
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8 Replies to “Tossed in Space, Suspended in Time: Photographer Todd McLellan

  1. As a writer, I’m fascinated by the photos of both the exploded typewriter and the typewriter laid out in such a precise fashion. I feel like I need a print of it on my office wall! Thank you for exposing me to McLellan’s work.

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I actually got to meet the artist at the last WIRED + Marriott #Culturazzi event. A great guy!

      Happy New Year!

  2. Recently watched a segment on NHK-TV where a Toto Washlet F3A automatic toilet (that’s the one with the instrument panel-like control buttons that does practically everything except brew coffee) meticulously disassembled and the design explained…this immediately came to mind when I saw these pics!

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