Tag Archives: negative


Negative and positive – liminality

The negative image has been of interest for some time- for example  I have tried digitally blending abstract positive and negative video clips with a variety of blend modes.  Recently I stepped back and tried something simpler – combining positive and negative projections of slides with the aim of creating a grey image..

I was interested in the way in which bodies or objects shadowing the projections could then create positive or negative images of their own, but what turned out to be as intriguing was the effect of cancellation – which is imperfect.   This kind of faint grey image seeping through seems like a liminal image.  An image on the threshold of visibility.

Slide and negative projectors

Just started to buy components for a new series of slide projectors

The idea is to make the frame from openbuild aluminium  and components which will make the projector easier to align and adjust.

the condenser is from a Rollei 6x6cm enlarger so it should be possible to project MF slides and negatives

larger condensers from 5×4 even 10×8 enlargers could be used (link here to Kubricks front projection on 2001)

Projection lens could be from enlargers (slow) or MF enlargers (fast).

What does this open up?  Very high quality projections – with tonal range and detail you can’t get from a digital projector. Also a material quality which is lacking in digital.

Possibility of making own slides on a sensible scale ie 6x6cm or larger



Negatives – starting from Thomas Ruff

Thomas Ruff states that he became interested in the negative after making photograms. For me it was the other way around.

A photogram is also a negative .

The disappearence of the negative as a tool of reproduction is also a time when it becomes a thing of interest in itself.

Ruff made his negatives from historical sepia toned positives, so the negative appears blue. Reversing the positive back into the original point of reproduction.

I’m interested in the materiality of the negative and also the general aesthetic qualities also discussed by Ruff.

Unfamiliar tonality, reversal etc.

to quote George Baker’s The Black Mirror – on Paul Sietsema. (October 158, Fall 2016) on the negative again.

“suspended between negative and positive, Degas’ between images body forth the negative as medium, middle space relay between photograph and object, camera and image. But in this ‘medium’ we find something medium specificity was never supposed to allow: the opening, through inversion, of photography to film, drawing, writing, even to sculpture ( as cast, double, ….it is this afterimage of the afterimage, this opening of the open image, that Sietsema has claimed in his play with the negative today.”

Not light and dark but opacity and transparency – the negative



Notes from train to Manchester 4

Negative – light exposes dark. Day to Night. Materialistic view of photography – grounding

spectral aspects in material. Dialectic that maps on to dualistic thinking.
Photomicrography of the negative. Stain of light.
Scanning a macro lens or objective over a negative. Link to the Blow-up.
Grain of the image – grain of the voice. Grain becomes noise. Tape and grains- background noise.

Hissing snake- the serpent. Air escaping from a hole. Aperture stop.

Noise – figure. Ground. Measuring a signal image in noise. Falling dust composite video.
The impossible image – limits of technology.
The impossible film.

Relation to Antonioni- Crossing the Tibor.

Daniel Nyblin’s photographic negatives of paintings

Daniel Nyblin (1856–1923) was one of the leading  photographers in Finland during the turn of the nineteenth century. Known for his portraits,  his photographic oeuvre also comprised  landscapes and townscapes.  Nyblin  photographed artworks and these negatives known as The Nyblin collection which is owned by the Finnish National Gallery.

I’m interested in the haunting intermedial quality of these negatives in which we are drawn to the negative as a kind of abstracted photographic representation and initially assume the photographs are of actual people or landscapes.  There is then a kind of disorientation as it becomes clear that these are paintings, often sitting on domestic furniture orstill on the easel.

wsoy_s_v_2_34_6 19492806325_26d0a668d1_b 19492802195_89f8e2e569_b 19487743492_172fe79be3_b 19486414202_dccc5bdda1_b 19486410132_110886d2e6_b 19306563948_e4262185b7_b 18872169403_4b5f671f62_b 19305251040_8b0332d96f_b 19306563948_e4262185b7_b