U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: pyro and cyano

RE: pyro and cyano

On Sat, 11 Apr 2009, BOB KISS wrote:

	I think the archival issue is more due to the youth of photography
compared to other artistic media, not insecurity about whether or not it IS
an art medium.  Many photos have faded since invention in the 1830s.  But
you have drawings and paintings in excellent condition after at least 600
years and more and even older frescoes.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but simply beside the point. My point is that there are drawings and other "art" of all sorts turned yellow, brown, green, mossy and/or with wormholes and fly specks, which tend if anything to make them extra precious. Who complains that, say, a Rembrandt drawing has turned yellow or brown? That's part (a large part) of its charm.

In other words, that "many photos have faded" and "some drawings and paintings are in excellent condition" guarantees nothing. We might weigh how long it takes for this or that to happen in which media, but that again would prove nothing...

No, I take that back -- what it would prove is our disposition to value "art" as "art" whatever the condition/age, but to still worry about photographs being "archival." (We might actually do more for photography as "art" if we let them -- or made them -- yellow like Rembrandts!)

Still, on the bright side, I'd say we can be confident that a certified original Wm Henry Fox Talbot could be faded, spotted & brown, with mouse whiskers and mold, but nobody would toss it.... Not to mention that some of our contemporaries are deliberately imitating the look of "old" silvered-out photographs in their work. (I've even had queries about my "plating out" process.) So there has been progress.

cheers, Judy

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Seigel [mailto:jseigel@panix.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 12:16 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: pyro and cyano