Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Phototerragrams: organic and photo-chemical collaborations with the earth

Godfrey, S. and McLaughlin, C. (2017) Phototerragrams: organic and photo-chemical collaborations with the earth. Invited Presentation presented to: Monad Symposium & Journal Launch, Northampton, 09 November 2017.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Invited Presentation)
Abstract: Conventions and traditional approaches to landscape depiction and documentation have long been problematized by engaging in the process of “pictorialization” (as theorized by Gina Crandell in Nature Pictorialized: "The View" in Landscape History). Crandell’s theory suggests a culturally maintained construction of an idealized, benevolent, passive and ultimately disempowered nature—through the landscape’s objectification by the ‘human as spectator, nature as spectacle’ dynamic. (Czerniak, 1997) The Phototerragram practice seeks to subvert traditional landscape photography by relinquishing partial control of the image production back to the land itself. Rather than objectifying and pictorializing the landscape this photo-chemical process seeks collaboration and engagement with it. By selecting and capturing a given piece of earth, exposing on a film negative, and then burying that negative in the very ground itself, the landscape takes an active role, rather than the traditional passive role. During the negative’s burial its undergoes organic decomposition; its interaction with microorganisms—and its literal soiling—are captured on the film. Phototerragrams then, do not pictorialize and objectify the environment, but participate with it, encouraging the perception of the landscape as a dynamic and autonomous actor.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) > N7560 Special subjects of art > N8213 Landscapes in art
T Technology > TR Photography
Creators: Godfrey, Steve and McLaughlin, Cavan
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Fine Art
Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Journalism, Media & Performance
Date: 9 November 2017
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Monad Symposium & Journal Launch
Event Dates: 09 November 2017
Event Location: Northampton
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated
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