The photographs in this series use imagery of the American West appropriated from an archive of early 20th century negatives that I acquired while working as artist in residence at the San Francisco dump. These negatives have a nitrocellulose base (a medium used between 1889-1930s, but replaced in the 1920s by Kodak “Safety Film” because of the early medium’s proclivity to decay and self combust). Due to the unstable nature of this film, the negatives have deteriorated, and I've used a flatbed scanner and sunlight as a backlighting source to record both the photographic information and the surface of the negatives. I make several scans of each negative at different times of day, and depending on the quality of the sunlight (diffused or direct), I capture varying interpretations of each negative. Diffused light allows the flatbed to record more of the film's surface, and direct light illuminates more of the photographic information held in each negative. Sunlight and the distress to the film brings color into these, otherwise, monochromatic images. I construct each picture from several scans made at different times of day to create a composite image. In the end, I’m trying to create a picture that describes the place that was photographed as well as the degradation of the film artifact.

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