Transcriptions: Indices from the Earth presents non-representational images from experiences with and within nature. These images come into being in concert with the act of touching, by bringing light-sensitive materials into immediate contact with nature, physically touching paper to soil, water, or plant material. Allowing for a margin of chance, final prints are left unfixed and unwashed – earth matter becomes embedded into the surface of photographic paper that will continue to shift in hue over time.
This work situates the return to camera-less imagery as a valuable way to connect a photograph’s meaning and appearance with its technique and subject matter. In grappling with the discontinuity between the sensation of being-in-the-world and our physical representations of it, this work embraces the polysemous image as a heuristic devise to privilege the materiality of photographs.
The resulting lumen prints mark the space and movement between earth matter and silver gelatin photographic paper. They work to bring us to focus on the matter of the photograph and the earth, by examining how we consciously experience its tactile qualities, and how we interact with and have subjective responses to an images materiality. Here, images created in and of the landscape offer a raw, primal, and rooted aesthetic experience of place. They set up a world to create occasions for the recognition of beauty. Transcriptions: Indices from the Earth invites the viewer to be open to the photographic experience as an ideological language that may forge new sensations.
Transcription: Indices from the Earth thesis by Kyra Schmidt