Lecture 2 Analogue II – The return to analogue techniques: Photograms, Cyanotypes, Solarisation and Daguerreotypes

  • Returning to processes
  • Different attitudes to medium


William Henry Fox Talbot, Flowers, Leaves and Stem, ca.1838.
  • Earliest photogram.
  • Tactile, physical contact with the emulsion.
  • Shadow world.
Man Ray, Rayograph, 1923.
  • Potential in technology.
  • 20s made their own version (Rayograph).
  • 3D, away from flatness, moving light around.
Barbara Hepworth, Self-Photogram, 1932; Double exposure of two forms, 1937.
  • Photograms and self-portrait.
  • 3D effect.
João Penalva, From the Weeds of Hiroshima, 1997.
  • Solarising photograms, flash light onto the paper.
  • Remains, sites in Hiroshima; weeds overlooked.
Matsumoto Eiichi, Shadow of a soldier remaining on the wall of Nagasaki military headquarters, 1945..
  • Inspiration for From the Weeds of Hiroshima.
  • Flowers, colour paper and emulsion.
  • Conceptual art.
  • Abstractions, dropping onto the paper.
  • Working with accidents.
Broomberg and Chanarin, The Press Conference, June 9, 2008, The Day Nobody Died, 2008.
  • Metaphor, round about way of referring to the events.
  • Parallel to Welling’s work.


Anna Atkins, from her book Photographs of British Algae, 1843. Cyanotype.
  • Cyanotype invented by John Herschel.


Yves Klein, Anthropometry, 1960.
  • Directly imprinting with blue paint.
Yves Klein, Hiroshima, 1961.
  • Work inspired by shadow imprint from Hiroshima.
Christian Marclay, Cyanotypes, JRP Ringier, 2011.
  • Multimedia, music, records. Hybrid.
  • Uses medium most appropriate.
  • Abstract expressionism.

‘Artists have always been attracted to detritus. Because by the time something reaches the dustbin, we have had enough interaction with it to finally reflect on it. When something is too new we are still under its spell, too seduced to take enough distance and be disrespectful or critical’.
Christian Marclay cited in Lyle Rexer, ‘Blue Tape: Christian Marclay’s old Masters’, in DAMN Magazine, no.33, May-June, 2012, p.104.

Thomas Mailaender, Electric Jesus, 2014.
Thomas Mailaender, Cyanotypes – installation view. Roman Road gallery, 2014.
  • Edgy, playful, uses humour.
  • Big in frames, leaned against the wall.
Walead Beshty, A partial disassembling of an invention without a future., Barbican Gallery London, 2014.
  • Any material/flat surface.
  • Performative.
  • History of the studio, objects which went through it.
  • Different size print.
  • Montage/collage

Camera Obscura

Vera Lutter. Chrysler Building, V: July 12, 2014.
Vera Lutter, Pepsi-Cola, Long Island City, 1998.
  • Turns rooms into camera obscura’s.
  • Big works.
  • Urban views on sensitized paper.
  • Negative prints.
  • Alternative reality.


Takashi Arai, Study no.1, A multiple monument from Daigo Fukuryu …
Takashi Arai, Trinity Site, c.2010-14.
Takashi Arai, Maquette for a monumnet …, 2014. Daguerreotype.
  • Montage, multiple different images put together.
  • Re-working, potential.
  • Big piece of work, sculptural.
  • Micro monuments, places of nuclear weapons (trinity site)
  • Watch frozen at time of bombing was painted on.
  • Physicality of object.

During this lecture, we looked at artists who have returned to old technology and how this can be related to materiality. Different ways of thinking about this and photography experience; optical sensations, engaging, embodiment.

Essential Reading:
Thompson, Matthew, ‘The Object Lost and Found’, in Thompson, The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, 2011 – available online at: http://old.aspenartmuseum.org/archive/archive_aop_thompson.html

George Baker, ‘The Absent Photograph’, in Speaker Receiver, Basel: Kunsthalle Basel; Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010.




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