With digital photography everywhere, our eyes have grown accustomed to seeing technically perfect, flawless, sterile images. The photochemical process, on the other hand, is organic, alive, fragile, subject to decay, and often producing images that have flaws. The tension between these two processes has spurred my interest in contemporary work that illuminates analog photography's production properties while also questioning, conceptually and physically, what a photograph is.
In order to explore the physicality of light-sensitive surfaces and make their organic and unstable nature visible, I’ve created abstract images from layers of photochemical materials and processes—both literal layers (of roll film negatives), and step-by-step layers of camerawork, film, and processing.
These prints are essentially photographs of a negative of negatives layered on top of a light box. First I used roll film to make images of clear blue sky, exposed to ensure even but varied density. Then I layered the negatives on a light box, where I photographed them with a 4 x 5 camera using Fuji instant black and white film. After I peeled apart the instant film, which has a grainy, semi stable negative, I discarded the positives and allowed some of the negatives to solarize; then I left them in a drawer, exposing them to age and casual damage, allowing their inherent instability to become visible. Finally, I rephotographed the Fuji negatives with photo-offset lith film, increasing the contrast, in order to make the prints you see now.