U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

On Mon, 17 Nov 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:
..... an image made in cyanotype or platinum sure isn't going to look the same if digitally printed-- so the final print-making choice does also make a difference to how that image is ultimately presented and viewed.
To quote the lady coining phrases all over the US landscape these past several months: YOU BETCHA ! But that's the least of it. Whoever can't see the difference between a gum print, for instance, and a "C-print," or even an unmodified digital print, is either wearing dark glasses, or hasn't ever seen the media except in repro (or both).

Aside from the "look" of, for instance a gum print, which tends to a tactility, texture, or call it dimensionality, not seen in a print that's essentially buried under a layer of gelatin, is the way it's constructed: A "C-print" is set in concrete, with at best a few modifications in development, from the moment of clicking the shutter. A gum print, is built up in layers, interactively, or make that INTERACTIVELY -- you see the first coat and create/construct the next coat accordingly and so on, able to wipe out all or part of a layer, and add pieces or entire layers.

(I use a gum print as example because the possibilities are so wide and extreme, tho additions & alterations of other media and various modifications in VDB, cyano, et al, are familiar and fruitful.)

To repeat, a C-print is more or less finished at the click of the shutter; the gum (and other processes made in stages by hand) can be created, altered, changed, invented, amplified, modified and reacted to indefinitely. Which is not to say the result is better "art" than a C-print -- that depends on the gods and the artist, but to allege that there is no difference is... let's say, to misunderstand the nature of both operations.

In sum, there's much more flexibility and variation possible in the FACTURE of "alternative" processes... Whether the CONCEPT, or the "eye" which chooses or composes the scene or the series is thereby eclipsed, may or may not be a point worth arguing. My own guess would be, um : circumstances alter cases. Which is to say, "It depends."