FLOWERS & ABSTRACTS Photography by JOANNE WARFIELD
his year brought about a new aspect of experimentation with film. Perhaps you have gleaned from some of my other statements that experimentation and process are key to my work and are of great interest to me. I guess I just can’t take it as it comes. For me the opposite of what is recommended holds a lot more interest because of what might happen. Also, I am being led by what procedures I have already tried, and things take off from there.

The latest “discovery” came about from a personal challenge that I gave myself. I had submitted work for consideration to be included in a new book on Advanced Polaroid Alternative Techniques. My work was selected from international submissions, and I was asked to submit additional work for publication. I was deep into a thrilling new phase with the wet negatives and wanted to continue with that, but knew that one main part of the book was about the use of Time-Zero film, which is also called SX-70 manipulation. The challenge: I had tried a few manipulations before and was not too keen on the process because it quickly becomes “cute.” Work that I had seen from time to time was definitely in this realm. Time-Zero is the only Polaroid film that can easily be manipulated with various tools; it is essentially drawing on the photograph—rather, tracing by number. It is a lot of fun, but the standard approach is difficult to disguise as anything very challenging. I read in one of the manuals that the film could be cut open (it is not a peel-apart professional film like the 669) and drawn upon from the back, scanned, or rephotographed. So, I got the scissors out. I had previously shot and drawn on a photograph as prescribed, and I cut it open and tried some scanning, but it still was not very interesting to me. I decided to apply my “wet technology” that I had used with the 669 film and—voila!—things began to get interesting. I eventually corroded the part that is normally thrown away and scanned that with amazing results. “Filigree I,” “Self Portrait,” “Rosa Doble/Gold,” and “Night Orchid” all show various stages of what I have termed “Time-Zero Corrosion.” This procccess is now one of the more interesting things I am doing. I especially like the abstractness which comes out of the incredible corrosion.

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