Alice Cazenave

Art & Science

New ways of seeing in camera-less photography

The intentions behind using camera-less techniques in a world dominated by digital technology are complex, but can be traced to a number of sources. First is the frustration with the ubiquity of the camera-made photographic image and the consequential apathy felt towards photography as an art form. The roots of these frustrations can be drawn from society's obsession with technological advancements to 'develop' society in the form of economical efficiency; in photography this takes the form of the camera-made reproducible image. An unexpected consequence of this form of modernisation is the value attributed to hand-crafted, unique photographs which revolt against the conventions of traditional darkroom photography and honour the 19th century techniques used to develop the original photographic process. Whilst digitalisation has on many fronts been liberating, I feel that the magic of things has been lost.

'I think photography no longer offers any resistance: it's like a concrete that you can pour into any mould, but the resulting architecture is too often undefined, sloppy, a bit embarrassing.' - photogram artist Floris Neusüss.

By using camera-less techniques, contemporary artists not only escape the banality of the camera-made image but also out-manoeuvre and reject the technology which facilitates its tiring ubiquity. This piece made in collaboration with photographer Andrew Chisholm serves as an expansion of the traditional use of photogram. In it we explored the possibilities of offering multiple perspectives, created in the same instance. The piece recalls university days spent gazing down a microscope at things I didn't understand but found alluring.

FurtherUnique colour photogram: hand printed on Fuji Crystal Achive DPII (1.3m x 1.3m)