Gelatin Silver Prints
The photographs in Window Gazes were produced in a handmade cardboard camera measuring 2x2x3 feet. Each picture is a unique print, exposed for approximately half an hour on 24×36 inch sheets of direct positive gelatin silver paper.
The project is an homage to the primary inventors of photography, Niépce, Talbot, and Daguerre, who were tethered to their studios in the early experiments, where they were essentially forced to photograph out the window. Due to the long exposure times necessary on very slow emulsions, as well as the simple fact that no one knew for sure how to permanently fix an image, these innovators toiled away for years in dark rooms before finding solutions to the problem.
Later, of course photography would become smaller and portable, but in the beginning it was stationary, cumbersome, and uncertain. It is this final aspect, uncertainty, that I sought to encounter while on an artist residency in the remote mountains of northern New Mexico. I built my own camera, set up a makeshift darkroom, and gazed out the windows to produce my own “first photographs.”