The Medium is the Message- Experimental Photography in Arkansas

Each of the five artists featured in this exhibit identifies an element essential to photography and attempts to challenge it in an effort to create a more malleable medium. Whether it is manipulating a physical aspect of the analog process, allowing evidence of the maker’s hand to show, or using chance to create a unique art object, these works assert that the inherent qualities of the photographic medium convey a message all their own.

Esther Nooner deconstructs the landscape by disorienting the viewer and playing with conventional representations of depth. Kristoffer Johnson embraces what some people see as flaws of the wet plate process, purposefully using defects like movement of the subject during long sitting times to produce a ghostly, shifting quality in his portraits. Helen Maringer makes cyanotype self-portraits based on images produced with a photocopier or scanner and then she prints those images on fabric, exploring emotional engagement with tactile materials. Kaia Hodo creates digital images, converting visual source files into a format that translates image data into noise. Her completed artworks include both visual and sound components. Grace Ann Odom uses Polaroid pictures and emulsion lifts to create images assisted by the effects of chance that nevertheless feel personal, candid, and unique.