Recently I have been focusing on surface tension and different ways to control the chemical reactions while making my images. The results I produce don’t generally have the kind of universal legibility one expects in photography. Camera-less photography has already gotten past the first lens, so the viewer is less rooted in the world they know, and are readied for a world of imagination.
This series of work are all chemigrams, meaning the images are created by chemical reactions and light. I have been thinking a lot about the objecthood of a photograph and different ways for them to exist in the world outside of the traditional frame. This lead me to create a process of mounting them on aluminum with epoxy. The epoxy reacts with the light colors, pulling them out and exposing the aluminum beneath. So this final step includes one last chemical reaction, bringing the process full circle, creating a new unique piece.
My photographic work is camera-less, meaning that I am creating my images solely in the darkroom without negatives to print from. Light, shadow, and chemicals are my primary tools and subjects. Working with these and other elements, I create my images by directly exposing the photographic paper. In this way, I am not reproducing an image of something, but producing an image from my own imagination and the indexical traces of the materials used. These images are not abstractions of something, but concretize something new. They are devoid of references connecting them to the visual reality we are used to seeing.
The lack of color processors in Portland had kept me from making color images for a long time. My desire to work with color took over and so now in almost complete darkness, I am armed in rain gear and a respirator making color photograms by hand. The colors in these images come from breaking white light into the spectrum of color using prismatic materials. I am fascinated by rainbows and their ability to illustrate what human color vision is capable of, its limits and potential.
This series began with the desire to make images of sound. Sound waves create geometric shapes and patterns that can be explored visually using various mediums such as water, sand and salt to show these patterns. Through the experimentation process of creating sound images with a variety of applications, I found that the photograms began to encompass more character and expression than just from the effects of the sounds alone. Water, light, glass, reflective materials, oils, salt, and plants began to fuse into the abstract and organic compositions that the shapes of the projected vibrations through them produced.
Adam and Eve
Joseph Deiss and I collaborated to retell, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden through a more feminist perspective. Utilizing historical image making techniques allowed us the freedom and control to visually manifest the story as we imagined. The piece is comprised of five 3' x 9' bi-folding panels and is composed from over 30 different images that we created with photographs, photograms, scanned objects, and two appropriated Durer images. The three center panels tell the story and the two outside panels are complimentary decoration to the story. In addition, we created a book that tells the story described in the piece.
My mother passed when I was a child and my memories of her are mostly visual. After watching old home movies I was struck by the sound of her voice, it was nothing I had a memory of. I set about to visualize her voice. I took the sound of her voice from the video and projected the sound waves onto photographic paper to create these images. My mother's speaker is playing sounds of static, since the sounds we see on the wall are of the past and can not be made today.
These are photogram portraits, direct exposures of people on photo paper. Not a reproduction of their bodies but their actual shadows, their silhouettes being captured in that moment in time. The silhouette has been used throughout the history of art and is thought of as the birth of drawing. One of the unique properties of the silhouette is its ability to allow us to capture the shadow and hold it through tracings, photography, and other media. Historically this has given the silhouette the ability to span time-to fuse together the past and present, in a similar manner as photography does. To capture something and make it feel present when it cannot be.
I built a 12ft x 6.5ft x 8ft room that is entered through a rotating darkroom door. This room is devoid of all light apart for one beam that enters the room through a small three eighth inch hole and expands into the space. Playing on light’s spectacular ability to be one and many in the same moment, the one beam of light has a variety of colors repeated through it. It is like multiple rainbows that shift in color and luminosity as the viewer moves around the light. The colors of the rainbow can be seen in any position in the room and are not reliant upon the conditions of natural elementsas. The colors change as we move around but they do not disappear, we can be present to our own interpretation of the colors, light. and space for as long as we want, for we are in control of our experience.
Transforming the use of an overhead projector, record player, reflective objects, and a Fresnel lens, I created a cinematic light show projecting across the room. There is no mystery in how the light projection is being made, the objects creating it are part of the piece. Thus eliminating the hierarchy between the light phenomenon and the objects creating it. Asking if the objects creating the light provide another avenue for contemplation through the transcendence of their use?
Stereoscopic Camera Obscura
Stereoscopic cameras take 2 pictures next to each other at the same time. When the 2 images are viewed next to each other with a viewer, our eyes combine them to create a 3 dimensional image. I took this concept and implemented it with a camera obscura, which is a dark room that has an aperture projecting what is outside of the room into the room upside down on the opposing wall. In this piece the camera obscura has 2 apertures creating 2 images being projected into the room to create a 3 dimensional image on the wall. Utilizing the wind, the images were moving, breathing more life into them. The viewer steps inside the camera obscura and has an experience of being inside a camera while being part of a 3 dimensional light phenomenon. These photographs represent a 2 dimensional perspective of the installation.