When interviewed by BBC, Powell explained that he was doing a project to rephotograph some of the shots from the Library of Congress. He held up the photo to line up the angle, and a moment of spark came to his mind—and took the shot holding the print. For particular work, he wrote about how he felt about the now-missing 1950 Leader Theatre:
This photograph breaks my heart.
Washington, DC used to have so much character. But we don't have anything like the set of buildings in this original photograph anymore. And, what's more, we never will again. And I missed it! This project is the only way I can ever see the way Washington, DC used to look, back when you could build four incredible buildings like these next to each other.
It makes me very sad. I want to step into this photograph and go join those folks in line. I want to eat at the Acropolis Cafe. I want to visit the Gayety. And yet, the only thing left from this scene is the red brick building on the left. You cannot convince me that Washington, DC is better off by having the modern blahbuilding taking up this space instead.
Through the lens of the camera, the streets were rephotographed for a historical context. I found this notion of rephotograph fascinating. Powell's work brought the past to the present, re-encoded physical space.
Powell's work is, in my broad definition, remixing reality. This can be extended from past->present, to present->present, to future->present. Essentially, time is irrelevant, and what glues the two spaces together is the thriving narrative that makes meaning.
In this post I would like to examine mixed reality in a broad sense. I am intentionally blurring the boundary of what makes up mixed reality in order to piece together a bigger picture. More generally, I would like to discuss the nagging feeling when we first get into an alternative reality that feels unnatural to all of us.