APIS, looong post

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/13/05-08:09:29 AM Z
Message-id: <009801c587b8$0c8bd4f0$686992d8@oemcomputer>

Hi all,
Back from APIS and I thought I would share my experiences
there. The group was smaller than before, and (listen up women) very few
women there, which always surprises me. However, the energy in the group
was very good--probably because those of us that came were hard core alt
process people. Every time I think I'm not going to go because it is too
expensive, then I go, and I am always glad I did.

The truly wonderful thing about APIS I have decided is where else can you
meet people obsessed with arcane photographic process and talk without eyes
glazing over? The benefit is the lunches and dinners together, the chatting
over coffee in the morning, the networking that occurs around (and sometimes
through) the panel presentations. Our group is getting smaller, and maybe
when silver gelatin becomes an alt process we will see an immediate
burgeoning of numbers, but right now it's a pretty darn few of us out there
and we need each other.

For me there were lots of highlights. Of course, seeing and hearing Keith
Taylor's presentation was incredible--his gums of Cy de Cosse's work were
absolute perfection in detail, color, everything. He is truly a master
gummist. His images were clean, tidy, clear, color balanced with that
perfect touch of je ne sais quoi that gum affords the color palette. Keith
uses imagesetter negs, tapes his edges before coating with blue painter's
tape to keep them pristine, and other such things that he himself can share
on the list.

Another highlight time after time is the five in five, where we see five
prints of anyone who so desires in five minutes. That's where all of us
"put our money where our mouth is". Being an "expert" on the list about
this or that process is easier than showing a set of prints to a
knowledgeable group such as APIS. This is the first time I participated in
the 5 in 5 and it sure made ME nervous! My bottom line about alt process is
the proof is in the pudding--the prints.

Personally, the most beneficial factoid I found out this time was by Paul
Lehman. Paul is out there messin' around and inventing new processes, and
he knows chemistry because he is a....hell, I can't remember, but he does
dermatological testing blah blah with the face....and he discovered that
(Katharine Thayer, this might interest you!!) gelatin with a touch of
dichromate and then a pinch of hydroquinone instantly hardens into a rubbery
mess. He talked about crosslinking of gelatin and gum, and the light bulb
went off in my head about a new possible way of sizing with less toxic
stuff. When the moving van actually GETS here with my stuff (now 3 1/2
weeks have passed and they now have to pay an $800 framing bill for my show
to hang this thursday) I will begin testing this.

What I also realized at APIS is that (coming out of an art background and
getting my MFA in photography in an art program as opposed to maybe a
technical program such as RIT) the coming together of scientists, chemists,
computer geeks, historians, and artists is where the new alt process stuff
happens. It'd be a cold day in hell, for instance, before I'd decide to put
a pinch of hydroquinone in my mix.

The disheartening thing I need to mention though is how many people said
they read the list and never post for fear of retribution. I understand the
feeling, but it doesn't stop me. I would hope others of you who normally
don't post would start. This is our "photographic society", right here, and
an instant one at that. At least we don't have to wait for weekly or
monthly meetings in downtown London as they did in back in the day.

That's my two cents. Those of you in the Minneapolis area, please feel free
to stop in at my Contemporary Vanitas showing of gum prints, 211 N.
Washington St, Minneapolis, 5:30-7:30 this thursday night, at Robichaud and
Anderson. There will be wine and verrrry smelly cheeses served (which
should be interesting during this hot summer week, but at least you'll know
it is not me but the cheese). The works will be up for a month. Art
Chakalis got a special preview of them on monday after I hung them all day
and got butt chafe doing so, climbing up and down the ladder 400 times. Oh
my, I can never keep my mouth shut..
Received on Wed Jul 13 08:35:32 2005

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