In his latest series UK-based photographer Todd McLellan takes old technology – a typewriter or rotary phone – and explodes them, meticulously laying out every tiny screw and bolt and wire to create beautiful images. Here he shares his 3-studio workspace and a few things that inspire him.
How long have you been working as a photographer? What drew you to shooting? I graduated with a BFA in 2002 from the from Alberta College of Art & Design. Assisting for 4 years I officially started shooting full time in 2006. I originally went to college to specialize in graphic arts/design, but changed my major after the first year. I really had a hard time sitting in the same room working on drawings all day. Photography allows you the freedom to explore the environment around you. I appreciate this and wanted to fully discover the medium.
Tell us about your workspace. Any special considerations that effected the way it is set up? I actually share a workspace with two other photographers. It’s a large setup with a car studio and two smaller studios. I feel very fortunate to have the freedom of space. The first part of the series started in the studio space but found some of them would take me far too long with many interruptions. I recently moved it to my office above the studio and am able to work on the projects much easier.
Your new work, Disassembly, strips down electronics to their elements. You’ve managed to capture a real beauty in the bits and pieces that come together to form once ubiquitous pieces of technology. The typewriter and rotary phone certainly no longer have a place in our home offices. Was there a reason you didn’t choose a laptop or cell phone? Most everything that I have taken apart has been mechanical. If you press a button or turn a knob you can physically see it doing its job. They are very interesting and complex inside. New technology although very complex, is not on a level you can see physically. I have taken apart my iPhone before and inside there are minimal parts.