(B)OTHERING – creations of more-than-human collaborateurs

cameraless photographic concretion with various algae

Seeking to work collaboratively, co-creatively with more-than-human organisms, I employ a photographic/photogrammatic practice that incorporates algae into the process of collaboration. Various algal species take on the creative roles in the photo lab and become creators, producing records of direct plant nature and their vital light. As motif, basis for algae-based developer and recycler at the same time statements of self emerge.

 

At the same time, these images create a space for discourse in order to reflect and take a critical look on the ecological impact of the processes and procedures in the photo lab. Contamination of water by conventional chemicals, animal gelatine in the emulsion or the amounts of plastic (waste) offer potentials to look for alternatives. For a more ecological coexistence and related possibilities, this work also aims to establish new relationships with organic and photographic material.

Darkroom enlargements are somewhat similar to laboratory examinations of algae through a microscope. In the screening and magnification, algae reveal themselves on the projection surface, or on the photosensitive paper on top of it, making even the smallest details visible to the human eye. Through its structure and opacity, the algae determines where light hits the paper and which patterns are created.

The LumenPrints act as catchers of light and shadow in direct contact using contours depicting light's traces. Representing craftsmanship, scientific explorations and at the same time being imprint of reality, aesthetic entities between art and science are created. 

The cyanotypes are made in direct contact with wet, messy beings, directly in or near their habitat. Put on paper at the water's edge, they expose the image and then are carried on by the current, while the paper is washed in the water and tells of the encounter as a memory. The approach is particularly physical and seems to contrast with the work in the laboratory and darkroom, but it is precisely this balance that supports a change in mindset.

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