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What is a Photograph? This 3-week intensive class covers a broad range of techniques rooted in 19th century photographic printmaking that predate traditional negative-to-positive gelatin silver printing. Contemporary photography is experiencing a revival of these traditional methods, now applied in hybrid and intermedia practices. This class is specifically designed to support students as they test the boundaries of the common understanding of “photography” and pursue informed experimentation with processes and materials. We’ll focus on the meaning and modes of cameraless photography and abstraction and explore the language of the photogram, a cameraless image closely related to the monoprint, in cyanotype and in the darkroom. We'll create negatives by hand with ink, paint, and more. Other processes covered include anthotypes (plant-based emulsions) and lumenprints. From hand-coating paper with emulsions to timing sun exposures, we will work together to better understand how to put these methods to use in your own creative practice. Classes will combine demonstrations, supervised studio work, group critique and discussion, and short lectures on historical and contemporary practices and artists. Students will be expected to do short readings, conduct research, and give a presentation. Each will student will produce a small body of work for a final show, submit a complete portfolio of all work made and participate in a final critique. This class is equally suited to students new to photography who want to learn basic photographic principles through experimental, low-tech methods, advanced photography students who are ready to incorporate non-silver, non-digital techniques in their practice and experiment with new materials, and students with a background in 2D media who are interested in exploring the rich intersections among drawing, painting, printmaking and photographic processes.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
Arts, Humanities, Education
Credits per quarter
This program is open to all students at all levels. 1-quarter of studies in black-and-white darkroom photography or the equivalent will be helpful for students taking this program, but is not required. Students without previous photography experience are welcome, and will need to do some basic catch-up work in the first week of class. Previous coursework in visual/media arts, even if basic, will be helpful, but is not required.
Expect to also spend up to approx $50-75 on a box of black-and-white photo paper and any art supplies specific to your project. Readings will be provided as PDFs for download. An optional textbook, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (3rd edition), by Christopher James, is approx $75 to buy and $26 to rent.
$100 fee covers all photographic supplies used in the program (aside from B+W paper)
Class Size: 12
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia
Spring 2020: Contact faculty or check offering in Canvas for first class meeting date and time.