Monday, December 12, 2011

Silent Films & Beating Hearts

I made a book.
And I made it using a process commonly associated with mass production.
Over the past few months of shooting film & printing in the darkroom, I became fascinated with light as a tool for markmaking. So for my final project, I decided to push it.
I wanted to use photography, or light, to create something completely original and rather difficult to replicate. So I started by creating my own negatives on clear, vintage 35mm film. The result, with authentic film grain, was an aesthetic similar to silent films.
I handwrote each of the notes and drew the frames. I found an exposure that worked. And rather than using a timer, I exposed each by turning the enlarger on and off manually each time, approximating the exposure. I then cut off white boarders with scissors, ensuring an organic shape, and rounded each corner by hand, furthering the uniqueness.
I then handstitched all 30 pages together, piercing my needle without any measurements dictating my next move. When extended fully, the form replicates that of a filmstrip format.

The text that is included are excerpts from my blog, typewritten post-it notes, sketchbook scribbles, and writing on my hands. Acknowledging the discomfort I felt towards using my own words, I preferred they remain silent, and beautiful primarily in aesthetic.
Words are more important to me than I care to admit, but this book is one step towards accepting their gravity and using it to my advantage. The title, found scrawled next to a reminder to look for Ricky Nelson on vinyl, references the contrast of the whisper of words and the anxiety they instill in me.

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Thanks for reading about some things I made today! Feel free to leave a comment here; I love hearing from you!

Love, Michaela