Perpetual Photo, by Allan McCollum, 1982

Allan McCollum Perpetual Photo, 1982

Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 62 x 45 x 3 in. (157.5 x 114.3 x 7.6 cm) (framed)
Credit Line: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Gift of the artist (2004.12). Image courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

In 1982 Allan McCollum began his Perpetual Photo series by photographing his television screen whenever he spotted a framed picture within the scene. He then photographically isolated and enlarged the prop picture, in the process producing an abstract photograph. The initial negative used to make each photograph is taped to the back of each framed piece, thereby restricting the propagation of the image intrinsic to the televisual and photographic mediums. 


Chicago Manual of Style
citation for this page
"Perpetual Photo." Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology Digital Archive. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2017. https://​​take-it-or-leave-it/​art/​perpetual-photo-4147/​.