And I've finally finished my (first?) experiment in distorting my film negatives.
I made a (rather) artful series of it...MEN: Distortions (look it up in MY PORTFOLIO...)
There were many great aspects to this series:
The thrilling freedom of new work...
The great satisfaction of physical art creation in relation to hand distorting my own film negatives...
The complete surrender TO THE MUSES of intuitive gesture in, specifically, the scratching of
the negatives. And, above all, meeting and working with three new models.
So in a previous blog post I began by trying to soak the negatives in hot Tennessee whiskey
for about 14 minutes....NOTHING. Then 16 minutes (or so) in almost boiling red wine...still NOTHING.
Then vodka and lemon juice, this time boiling...finally got to something, but then I made the mistake
of washing the negatives and lost whatever distortions began.
I knew after these initial experiments that I had to go with a stronger chemical, or LONGER soaking times.
I opted for bleach. :-)
Then those distortions were not satisfying enough, so I added a soaking step in PAAS (blue tablet) kit. --Think easter egg coloring.-- I believe it was the soaking in vinegar that allowed me to intuitively gesture with small metal implements, and SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH the negatives! (I think the vinegar made the emulsions soft and pliant.)
__> I did even try, once throughout this series of distorting the negatives, developing a roll using freezing, ice-cold fixer and wash in ice water...but that only turned the negatives a strange hazy gray. This was NOT what I was looking for....and even stranger with this step....when the negatives were wet, just taken to be hung and dried, I couldn't wipe any emulsion from them. I couldn't even scratch it off the wet negatives! Very interesting and surprising.
How thrilling and risky all of this felt. And, in the end, I think I got some really powerful images.
Once in awhile, well, BAM!