Photography covers a broad range of different technical processes, all of which offer distinct formal and conceptual frameworks. Geoffrey Batchen described the photographic image as a ghost, a ubiquitous presence that haunts its origin through ‘a continual process of […] displacements, first of form from matter and then of form from form’ 1).
Over the last 20 years I have put Batchen’s ghost through its paces when I used digital photography, mobile phones, as well as analogue and historical processes to investigate the formal and conceptual scope of each of these displacements. Entangled expands my investigations through a series of salt prints depicting plant seedlings which I raise since 2014 specifically for my photography. Salt printing constitutes the first negative-positive process that was presented in 1839 by Henry Fox Talbot (a keen botanist himself). He called his process ‘photogenic drawing’, and the camera derived images he produced were perceived as a hybrid of art and science placed between nature and culture.
Transferring the fleeting digital images captured with my camera into Talbot’s historical process I merge past and present photographic technologies. Blurring the line between precise analysis and artistic interpretation Entangled not only illustrates photography’s oscillation between art and science, but also hints at our own ambiguous relationship with the non-human world, which is rational and emotional at the same time. It is this complex relationship we have to come to terms with, for our sake and for the sake of so many others who are born into this world with us.
1) AGNSW Photography symposium Sydney 2014: Dark matter: photo histories and archives.