"Inspiration for this project comes from my desire to learn about my present world, past world, the world inside me. Most of my projects have been extremely personal quests. I have created cameras that deal with landmark times in my personal history to further explore the depths of those transitional moments.
The Untouchable or HIV Camera started with a conversation with one of my good friends about what his life has been like before and after being diagnosed HIV positive. In our conversations it was clear I couldn’t see the world the way he does, the way people see him, the stigma of HIV that he deals with and what daily life is like living with an internal, unseen villain. With the help of my friend I created the “Untouchable” project: a project of understanding that will evolve and grow to increase the awareness of what life is like for people living with HIV and AIDS."
The HIV pinhole camera has three clear cylinders that contain HIV+ blood that circulates through with the help of a pump made from rare earth magnets that slide on titanium rails. The blood then flows between two sheets of Acrylic that are five-thousandths of an inch apart and mounted right in front of the pinhole (the hole that allows light in to create the image on film). Wayne tested with his own blood and a light meter: at five-thousandths of an inch thick, the blood (after mixing with the right combinations of Heparin as an anticoagulant and .9% Sodium Chloride to stabilize has the same light restriction as a #25 red filter used in photography. When he had the combination right, he had a doctor take some of his friend’s HIV+ blood, mixed it, and then inserted it into the camera.
The body of the camera is fabricated from solid blocks of Aircraft grade aluminum, titanium and copper. The only parts Wayne didn’t make in his shop were the 10,000-PSI military aircraft hydraulic lines and fittings in the front of the camera—military grade titanium nuts, bolts and screws that hold everything together.
The camera is designed to study people living with HIV and AIDS. All photographs are shot through and altered by HIV positive blood. So far Untouchable has photographed about 14 HIV+ people in San Francisco and 15 in Grand Rapids Michigan.
With the help of Kickstarter Wayne Belger is taking the project to Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leona and Calcutta to photograph a geographic comparison of people living with the virus, and how that geographic or political location makes all the difference in one's well-being.
The resulting images will be shown around the world in museums and galleries and will also be published in a book entitled Bloodworks.
counselor, stock boy, professional treasure hunter, child recovery, rock
climbing instructor, scuba instructor (Dive Master Training), L.A. Kings Pro
Hockey team (mascot, “Kingston”), Anaheim Mighty Ducks Pro Hockey team (mascot,
“Wildwing”), Hockey player, studio musician, professional touring musician
(Wicked Tinkers), artist, machinist, manicurist.
Gallery, Toronto, Canada April 2010 (Part of Contact Photography Festival)
Fine Art, San Francisco, CA. October 2006
Fine Art, Culver City, CA. March 2006
Fine Art, Gallery Row, L.A., CA. April 2005
Gallery, Tucson, AZ. January 2005 (W/ Joel-Peter Witkin)
Fruit, San Francisco, CA. November 2002
Fine Art, Pasadena, CA. December 2001
Gallery, Ojai, CA. August 2001
Brewery, L.A., CA. June 2000
La Luz de
Jesus, L.A. CA. Fall 2011
Institute of Contemporary Art. Grand Rapids, MI. Sep-Nov 2010
Art 21 Art
Fair, Colon Germany fall 2010
Gallery, Toronto Canada. January 2010
Gallery, London England, December 2009
Columbus, Ohio. February 2009
Gallery, La Jolla, CA July 2008
La Luz de
Jesus Gallery, L.A., CA. March 2004
Gallery, Palm Springs, CA. February 2004
Roq La Rue
Gallery, Seattle, WA. October 2003
Brea Gallery, Brea, CA. April 2003
& Vogt fine art, Santa Fe, NM. December 2002
fine art, L.A. CA. June 2002
The Folk Tree Gallery, Pasadena, CA. October 2001
- Publications; Feature Articles
Color Photography, 5th Edition. Contributor. Robert Hirsch, Spring
Magazine, 2 page feature story, London,
Mechanics, 4 page feature story, Russia,
Magazine, 2 page feature story, Czech Republic. Spring 2009
Magazine, 2 page feature story, Turkey. Spring 2009
Magazine, 2-page feature story,
London, August 2007
Magazine #26, 6-page feature story by Summer Kumar, Spring 2007
Magazine #53, 6 page feature story by Richard Pitnick, 2007
Magazine, 10 page feature November 2006
Chronicle, Feature story, October 2006
Full page feature September 2005
Magazine, Full page feature story May 2005
Weekly, Feature story February 2005
Weekly, Art pick of the week for October 8th-14th 2003
Times Magazine, 4 page feature story, Sunday November 24th 2002,