AMONG THE WEEDS AND THE WASTE
35mm XP2 film
Hand processed in plant-developer (Comstock desert plant species)
These works were made at abandoned mining sites in regions now known as The Comstock, Nevada. This region extracted silver in the 1850s, an industry that enabled early European developments in photography.
Among The Weeds And The Waste explores the ecological afterlives of analogue photographic industries, and what grows in these human-disturbed spaces. Yellow rabbitbrush is a plant that grows abundantly in alkaline soils typical of silver extraction sites. It revegetates land and establishes habitats disturbed by resource extraction.
These photographic images were developed in chemistry made from Yellow rabbitbrush. The works consider the toxicities of silver extraction for photography which are not immediately visible; toxicity is buried in the earth or present in sites of absence – where things no longer exist.
Yellow rabbitbrush, however, is an indicator of such sites; it makes these legacies visible. The use of Yellow rabbitbrush developer foregrounds the ecologies that are constructed as dispensable by extractivism for analogue photographic industries.