De/Re-constructing the collodion process

In October 2020, the Don’t Press Print symposium organised by the Royal Photographic Society and Centre for Fine Print Research brought together nineteen speakers from across the world to discuss historical perspectives on the collodion photographic process and how contemporary artists use the collodion process in their practice. This was the dominant process through the nineteenth century and has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years.

Two keynotes papers were given by Mark Osterman looking at collodion as a medium, and from France Scully Osterman looking at Sally Mann’s use of collodion.  Other papers looked at collodion in Japan, Australia and India, the work of George Washington Wilson, the American Civil War, Miklos Barabas, collodion for halftone, and individual artists’ use of collodion.     

This book brings together papers from all the speakers plus one additional paper. Papers are from: Frank Menger, Mark Osterman, Adrienna Lundgren, Rachel Wetzel, Ashleigh Black Zsuszanna Szegedy-Maszak, Tony Richards, Ian Chamblerlain, Chihoko Ando, Shreya Mukherjee, Bill Nieberding, Alan Hodgson, France Scully Osterman, Erin Solomons, Rob Ball, Paul Elter, Christian Klant, Steve de Grys, Niamh Fahy, Wilson Yeung, Jo Gane and Alex Boyd.

This publication is now available via the RPS website and Waterstones Booksellers for £40. Well worth every penny.

My contribution was titled “The Digitype and the Inter-positive. A new collodion narrative”, it discusses the use of hybrid ways of working, combining the digital and analogue and includes a number of examples of the work of current wet plate practitioners. All the articles are well worth a read and wonderfully illustrated. Even mine, considering many of the images used were screen grabs and old mobile phone images. Thank you again to all that allowed me to use their additional imagery in my live presentation and this publication.

This years symposium is Don’t Press Print: De/Reconstructing of nineteenth-century photomechanical reproduction and their 21st century embodiment.

9th & 10th September 2021.

Details here.