This project uses studio portrait photography, combined with cyanotype or “sun” printing to create photographs that are about the attitudes college students have toward their surrounding material world. The work also served as my undergraduate thesis at Pitzer College. In a workshop style event, I took portraits of participants in the studio, and demonstrated how to make sun prints using objects that they chose in response to questions such as “what object have you worked hardest for, what brings you the most joy” etc.
The composites you see here are a digital layering of what was created in the workshop. When combined with portraits, the sun prints (being semi-opaque) suggest a more abstract relationship to their maker. This is to mimic the distance I often notice between todays generation, and their understanding of material things, why they have them, how they’re used, built, etc. By involving peers in the sun printing process, my hope is that they will feel empowered to question and strengthen their own philosophy of objects-and in doing so, become better users and makers rather than buyers and consumers.
Six of the Photographs below were made into 22"x33" archival inkjet prints and mounted on aluminum for gallery display. The blue sunprints (further below) were also hung by twine in the gallery.
What object of yours do you use most frequently?
What object of yours brings you the most joy?
What object do you feel the most guilty to own?
What object most represents your family history?
What is an object you have worked very hard for?