[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

Darkrooms, Department of Art darkroommanager at cornell.edu
Mon Jul 17 21:01:40 UTC 2017


Dear Christina,

My introduction to alt processes was during my undergrad at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where I worked closely with Martha Madigan. At that time I became very interested in digital negatives and ziatype and I was forever hooked. Shortly after leaving undergrad I started working at Cornell University where I have been for the past 9 years and have helped to develop their work with digital/alt process courses working in Cyanotype, Van Dyke and Gum. Being in upstate NY I have been quite isolated and without a mentor in alt process. For the most part I have been self-taught and found resources in Keepers of the Light, Christopher James, and then when I got into Gum more recently the two texts that you have put out. THANK YOU! Then I found this list which has been a wonderful resource! Thank you to everyone who has asked and answered questions! It’s great to hear about things that I would not have stumbled upon myself and to have a resource for when things go wrong.

Jennifer Gioffre
Tjaden Hall Teaching Support Specialist
College of Architecture Art and Planning
Cornell University
102a Tjaden Hall 
Ithaca, NY 14853
 
t.  607-255-4207
f.  607-255-3462
Jmg393 at cornell.edu
Darkroommanager at cornell.edu
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On 7/17/17, 4:10 PM, "Alt-photo-process-list on behalf of rowan Bloemhof via Alt-photo-process-list" <alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org on behalf of alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:

    Dear Christina,
    
    As a relatively young 'member' of the alt process community I thought it
    might be interesting to share my perspective. About 4 years ago when I was
    21 I started taking up analog photography, and really enjoying the whole
    physical approach to photography that it offered. On this I was mostly
    instructed by my father whose dark room equipment I 'inherited', at some
    point he mentioned this obscure printing process called gum bichromates,
    showing me a little instructional flyer he once received at a conference
    some 30 years earlier. I was instantly fascinated and decided to give it a
    try, i obtained all the materials and started to experiment with laser
    printed negatives. Much to my dismay I found it much more complicated and
    hard than I imagined. So I started to do more research online and stumbled
    across the writings of the late Katherine Thayer. It were her instructions
    that helped me get the results I needed to push on.
    
    Sadly I couldn't find any local teachers or people offering workshops on
    any alternative process. And financially it would have been impossible for
    me to visit the states to participate in workshops. So I had to make due
    with whatever I could find on the internet. So in essence it were the
    articles written by people like you, Katherine Thayer and Mike Ware that
    allowed me to learn a range of processes. Also the help I received from
    Philip Schwartz and Sandy King on the carbon printing forum was phenomenal.
    
    Anyway although I cannot offer any names you might otherwise miss in your
    family tree, I did want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude
    for the warm and welcoming way in which everyone here invites newcomers
    like me to learn the ropes. And hopefully one day pass on that knowledge to
    a next generation. I have participated in many internet communities over
    the years, but none as cordial as that of the alt photo community.
    
    
    Rowan Bloemhof
    www.rowanbloemhof.com
    
    On 16 July 2017 at 18:43, Christina Z. Anderson via Alt-photo-process-list <
    alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
    
    > Dear All,
    >
    > A few years ago SPE (Society of Photographic Education) was working out
    > this photography family tree thing, where members would write in who taught
    > them photography. I thought it was an interesting proposition, even though
    > most of us have several moms and dads so to speak so the final tree trunk
    > might not be just one set of “parents.”
    >
    > An MFA in photography is a comparatively new field as compared to other
    > arts, but even other arts had schools of training and thought (e.g.
    > Bauhaus).
    >
    > So that got me thinking about the key texts (and mentors, teachers,
    > people) who influenced me in alt over the years. And it also got me to
    > thinking about alt list members over the years, who’s still on, who still
    > posts, that kind of thing.
    >
    > And then I’ve noticed lately “pockets” of alt in different countries and
    > wondered who was at the foundations of those movements. It had to start
    > somewhere. Where did Mrhar come from?
    >
    > Whatever the case, alt seems to be a burgeoning movement, unlike in the
    > 60s or 70s where it was decidedly not mainstream.
    >
    > Anyway, it is an interesting conversation to think about, our forefathers
    > and foremothers.
    >
    > Perhaps all contemporary collodion, for instance, leads back to Osterman
    > or Coffer? Salt leads back to Reilly (1980)? Gum to Scopick?
    >
    > William Crawford’s text and then Scopick’s were at my foundation, but then
    > Airey, House, Arnow, Blacklow, Hahn (who was influenced by Henry Holmes
    > Smith), Nettles, Van Keuren…and then later Enfield, James, Farber, Barnier.
    >
    > I’d love to hear input from others as to their influences, perhaps too
    > long a conversation for the summer vacation months! I decided to make a
    > list of which I will share when I feel it is comprehensive. Wouldn’t want
    > to miss someone because they weren’t on my personal radar.
    >
    > Chris
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org
    >
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