Re: alt exhibit
I don't disagree; it's kind of like glass half full or glass half
empty. I suppose, if truth be told, I look at it from where I stand
with both feet planted well inside alternative processes, and see
everything else as "outside." :--)
I didn't mean positive and negative definitions in terms of value
judgment, assigning good and bad connotations to the definitions; I
only meant positive and negative in the sense of positive space vs.
negative space. ...the difference between identifying "alternative
processes" as a thing in and of itself, vs identifying "alternative
processes" as everything that's not mainstream, as the negative
space around mainstream photography. All I was saying is that I
identify alternative processes the first way rather than the second
way, but that's not to say my way of looking at it is the only way
or even a majority way of looking at it; I suspect the other way, of
seeing it as whatever's non-mainstream, is more widespread.
I do agree that inkjet prints don't really belong under "alternative
processes." I only meant that once I understood the definition of
"alternative" for the purpose of the show, it made more sense to me
that there would be inkjet prints in the show, because the call for
work identified images made with a holga camera or a pinhole camera
as examples of "alternative processes" with no requirement that these
images be printed in some non-mainstream or traditionally alternative
Nice to have some dialogue going; are we the only ones here?
On Sep 6, 2007, at 10:39 AM, Diana Bloomfield wrote:
Agree that the confusion, in part, is with the title they chose to
use for the exhibit. "Alternative Works" would have been more
That said, the term "alternative," as in "alternative processes,"
does imply, in part, that which is not firmly entrenched in the
mainstream-- to my way of thinking. (Again, digital printing is--
at least from what I've seen.) I don't view that as a negative
definition, nor as having a negative connotation. "Anything
outside the mainstream," given where the mainstream has been
lately, seems positive to me. ;)
On Sep 6, 2007, at 1:11 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:
On Sep 6, 2007, at 7:57 AM, permadocument wrote:
On visiting the on-line alt exhibit I was impressed by the
of the retained works. A question arises: would it not be the
define what we really mean when we speak of "alternative works".
I think "alternative works" could be defined any way a person or
institution would care to define it, because "alternative works"
doesn't mean anything to me particularly. Now that I understand
that the call for work for this particular show defined
"alternative" as such things as images from plastic cameras,
pinhole images, photograms and the like, I'm not surprised to
find such images, printed digitally, as part of the show.
For me, the confusion arose from their use of the phrase
"alternative processes" as the title of the show. "Alternative
processes" has come to mean, for me at least, and I suspect for
some others as well, a specific set of handcoated processes. If
they had named the show "alternative works" rather than
"alternative processes," I wouldn't have had any expectation that
the show would consist mostly if not wholly of works made by one
or more of these handcoated "alternative processes," because as I
said, "alternative works" could be anything at all as far as I'm
concerned. Anthotypes, holga pictures, crossprocessed images,
whatever, including the set of processes I know as "alternative
And maybe "alternative processes" isn't a good name, because it
does seem to denote "alternative to" x, and then you have to
define what x is and accept everything outside x as "alternative."
But I've never defined "alternative processes" as being
whatever's left outside the boundaries of some x, to me it does
have a positive definition as this particular group of processes,
rather than a negative definition as "anything outside the
mainstream." So maybe something else, like "handcoated
processes" or "historical processes" would be a better name than
I'm not yet ready to accept gelatin silver as an alternative
process unless it's handcoated, and then I do think it belongs.
But it's not surprising that we don't all agree precisely on where
the boundaries lie that demark "alternative processes."