Brea Souder‘s ‘Film Electric’ collages are rather special. They’re a reminder of how beautiful film negatives are, something many photographers, amateur or professional, don’t use anymore. I remember many years ago in art college spending hundreds of hours in the darkroom using spools of negatives, both 35mm and medium format, and always being amazed at their texture, the way they curled and the burnt emulsion on them – as the result of light exposure.
Souder has taken this love of her equipment, her medium, one step further – she’s made collages by utilizing the static electricity in the negatives. What? How? Well here’s her explanation:
These images are made of cut-outs from my film archives, dating back 10 years. Pieces of positive and negative film are scattered onto sheets of acetate. Static electricity determines which pieces appear in the final image, as some fall to the ground and others cling to the surface.
It’s no accident that Souder has an interest in the aesthetic and scientific side of her work. It stems from her parents:
My mom was a painter and my dad was a physicist, and photography felt like a natural mixture of art and science, I enjoyed the chemical and technical aspects of photography, and the fact that there was a specific process that had to be followed in order to achieve an image.
Sometimes I’m utterly amazed at how the most unassuming materials can create the most beautiful objects. Materials that are often thrown in the bin without a second thought. Souder has proved that you can create beauty out of anything.
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