The f:2.7 Group

A Chicago-based group of optical theorists whose interest in spherical aberrations as a sort of radical phenomenology led to a short-lived economic association with Bausch & Lomb, who unwittingly published several advertisements in the early twentieth century that included the word “ultra,” a term known in anarchist circulars of the time as a call to arms. The f-group’s interest in the Emersonian concept of a “transparent eye-ball” (from Nature, 1836) was suggestive not of an all-encompassing absorption of nature (as per Emerson) but rather a delineation of the blind spots of vision itself. These “ultraist” blind spots were, according to the f-group, not obstacles to sight, but rather dark pathways to sight itself. The advertisement below, from a Paris-based issue of Cine-Journal (1912) was scissored-out and sent to the Lost Signals Collective, via snail-mail, where it was scanned and posted here. —N. Rombes

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