Taking a photo without using an electronic devise

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On 9th & 16th of September I attended seminar sessions by Sheila Pinkel, an American artist. The goal was to take photos but without using any devices. We were asked to take with us any material that we would like to photograph, like small plants, flowers, glass objects etc. The process might be know to photographers, but  it was the first time that I have used it: in a dark room you lay the items you wish to photograph on a piece of photographic paper, you cover this with a piece of glass (if they items are not heavy enough), you cover everything so that the paper is not burned out and you take everything outside for 30-45 mins. It is very simple process, however you need to make several experiments to see under which conditions you get the best results:

  1. It works better when fibre based photographic paper is used, preferably expired because you get a variation of colours
  2. One must take into account the time of the day that the paper is exposed in the sun and the place. I did the experiments at 12:00 in Cyprus under a very strong sunlight, so 30 mins of exposure was enough.
  3. The small size plants and flowers are the best materials to be used for this experiment. Their surface is pressed against the paper by the glass and better results are obrtained.
  4. The thickness of the glass is also important. In experiments where I did not use glass, the imprints on the paper were not as strong.  Where I used thick glass of 1cm the imprints were more intense.

The results of these experiments will be exhibited in a group show. The following text accompanied the invitation of this exhibition.

Over the past two decades photographers have witnessed major changes in imaging technologies. Digital cameras, computers & cell phones have allowed all people using these technologies to become ‘photographers.’ In addition, new imaging techniques now used in the sciences and social sciences have allowed both artists and scientists to make visible phenomena never seen before.

By focusing on the modalities of the medium, this exhibition separates itself from the historicities and ontological traditions of genre, pointing to new alternative ways of looking at and studying the processes of image creation. This practice is anchored in photography’s unrealised artistic potential to engage with new debates about ways of presenting, seeing, and interpreting the world.

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Bibliography

  • on Cezanne: “reached a point where self and landscape fold together and even fuse” (p.3), Wylie, J. (2007) Landscape , Oxon: Routledge
  • Merewether on Lauren Berkowitz (artist) “Is memory stored in everyday objects and, if so, do they form the historicity of a culture? Can we speak of art as a sensory experience of history – a world that creates and sustains our relationship to the historical?” (p.8) Merewether, Ch. (2001)  Lauren Berkowitz, Sydney: Craftsman House
  • P.J. Freud introduced the term of false memory syndrome to describe a condition under which a person builds his identity and relationships based on memories that have not actually occurred but believes that they have, and that these memories have formed his/her current condition (pp. 66-67)., McHugh, P.R. (2008) Try to remember: Psychiatry’s clash over meaning, memory and mind, New York/Washinghton D.C: Dana Press / Is the experience of first hand-nostalgic memories implied or is it experienced in a passive way? (p.71) Arizpe, L. and Amescua, Ch. (2013) Anthropological Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage, New York: Springer
  • Concept of “armchair nostalgia” which examines the desire to accumulate memory through the tourist’s consumption of folk objects belonging to the experience of others (p.78) Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota

Exploratory project / Week 15

I am working on this floor piece using plastic clear bags to put the coloured water in – also diluting the water to get different  tones.  The plastic bags initially came up as an idea as a low cost option for further experimentation. But may be I will keep them as a reference to environmental protection awareness as well as a reference to the way the almonds are packed immediately after collection in big sacks (not plastic though, more like canvas).