Monday, August 31, 2009


Pierre Cordier, Chemigram 8/2/61

Just discovered chemigrams... they aren't photography because light doesn't play a part in things - they use the chemicals of photography, rather than the process. Similar to my gravitygrams - but there the process and concept of photograms are used but NOT any of the chemicals.

All these things are versions of resisting, printing and stenciling : mechanical processes - a concept developed by early manufacturers to remove craft and creativity from the actual production method. Quite fascinating to see the possible variations... and what altered goals and values allow them to arise. After all, to use these processes in unusual ways requires letting go of a commercial mindset...or does it?

Heather Lewis Two grill pans on a giclee, 2008 (gravitygram of cast iron grindings, granular rutile, acrylic medium and digital image - lots of room for variation there.)

Could a factory make intentionally arbitrary objects or patterns? I'm sure I've heard of some that do. It would be possible within certain parameters. Both physically, and more easily perhaps, digitally. Brian Eno's 70 million paintings spring to mind but I know I've seen something more interesting than that recently. (Nearest I can find right now is Fuzzy ART algorithm used to catch and AVOID minute variations in manufacturing due to flaws. Suppose it was used to create variations in areas that would not be seen as flaws?)

Heather Lewis Two ice trays, 2008, cast iron grindings and acrylic medium. Room for manufacturing variation there too.

Anyway... on a smaller scale, back in the studio...I'd like to see the chemigram used with other kinds of more direct intervention - Cordier drew or printed on the photographic paper to create a resist, in ways which are not within my area of concern. I'm thinking of chemical versions of these gravitygrams.

Heather Lewis Drawing (tape gun), 2008. Cast iron brake grindings and acrylic medium on paper.