U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: alt exhibit

RE: alt exhibit

Would you agree to say that alternative processes broadly are contemporary
adaptions of the historical processes?

Roger Kockaerts
rue des Balkans 7
B-1180 Brussels
T/ 32 2 347 66 76

-----Message d'origine-----
De : john@johnbrewerphotography.com [mailto:john@johnbrewerphotography.com] 
Envoyé : vendredi 7 septembre 2007 3:49
À : alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Objet : Re: alt exhibit

> Nice to have some dialogue going;  are we the only ones here?

I'm here Katharine ;)

My personal definition of alternative processes is the production of a 
photographic image using non factory made media for the end result. At the 
risk of being anal I also define historical and alternative as being subtly 
different, for example the Ware cyanotype or the temperaprint are alt but 
not historical.

Just my tuppence worth.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Katharine Thayer" <kthayer@pacifier.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 8:35 PM
Subject: 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  process.
> Nice to have some dialogue going;  are we the only ones here?
> Katharine
> 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  accurate.
>> 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. ;)
>> Diana
>> 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  overall 
>>>> quality
>>>> of the retained works. A question arises: would it not be the  moment 
>>>> to
>>>> 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  processes."
>>> 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  "alternative processes."
>>> 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."
>>> katharine
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