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Topic ClosedQuinn’s Performative Lecture 03-25-06

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quinn View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Quinn’s Performative Lecture 03-25-06
    Posted: 26 March 2006 at 08:44

I did my first "performative lecture" yesterday. It wasn't my first wet plate demonstration, but it was the first time I've approached it as a performance and extended that idea to the audience (inviting participation, interactivity). It will take me a few times to get it down, but it's exciting and very rewarding.

I did this at the gallery (Art Access) where my show is. I had my van, that Jean (my wife) and I tricked out Friday so I could stand in and have multiple people in to load and process plates. It is AWESOME!! It's 6'-5" wide, 6'-5" tall and several feet deep. It is so bright and roomy it's similar to my home darkroom. Very, very comfortable and bright!

Anyway, here are the photos that David shot (thanks David, Jean and Summer! You are WONDERFUL and I couldn't do this without you!!)


The intinerant (very comfortable) wet plate photographer.


The mobile van pulled up in front of the gallery.


There were 40 people there. They only had seats for 25.


Let the performance begin. If you think about it, it is a performance. I
was aware of that and tried to include the audience and tell stories
while going through the process.


I described the chemicals and explained the chemical process (in lay
terms) of how this process works. There were many photographers in
the audience and they connected well and were blown away.



I included "off-gassing" jokes too.


As I said, I tried to involve, as much as I could, the audience.
I had some of the city's best fine art photographers in the crowd.
It was a humbling experience.



Setting up to make the portrait in the gallery. This is Sheryl, one of
the people that run Art Access.



"Flowing the Plate" and filling the gallery with that sweet smell. I have Logan (an audience member)
helping me and Summer is shooting video for me. I really like this shot.



In my mobile darkroom. It was a sweet experience!


A 15 second development, and voile! A 5x7 BGA of Sheryl.


The most exciting part (for most) watching the image change in the fix.


A successful first image. People wondered how the exposure was right
without having a meter or a shutter - how do you explain "feeling" and experience?


People admiring the detail, color and the transformative qualities that wet plate give you.


I liked the image. The background treatment was different than what
I was used to, but that's the idea, baby-steps to push it around a bit.


Joe, my second sitter, watches as I show another technique of flowing a plate.


Examining a clear Ambrotype of Joe.


Another audience assistant helps me varnish Sheryl's plate. We filled
the gallery with that great odor of lavendar.


And I end the "show" with a Q&A session. Someone said it was like
going to a medicine show or a magic show. I took it as a huge
compliment.


A photo of Sheryl's Ambrotype. Joe's turned out well too, I'll
post one when I get it scanned.

Regards,
Quinn Jacobson
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zmanphoto View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 09:24
Quinn, very cool! I need to move closer to you, the education you are doing
on this process is great. Plus, your van rig is awesome. Just curious what
your exposure was with Sheryl? Also, it's cool how the brick background
didn't show up behind her.

Great job, wish I could have been there!

Mark Z
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 09:31

Thanks Mark. I've found the more I do, the more I learn, so there is a selfish motive here (also, it's a requirement for my MFA).

The van is my mobile dream unit. It really makes a huge difference to be comfortable and precise on the road. It boosts my confidence immensely. I hope to do a lot of work this year out of the van, not in my studio, that's the goal anyway.

The exposure was 10 seconds, wide open with my Jamin-Darlot. The brick was out of the DOF and the north light was blazing, it is interesting - different for me.

I was worried the night before thinking that these windows may be UV protected, if they would have been, I couldn't have made any pictures.

Regards,
Quinn Jacobson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 15:11
Just to put things into perspective, take a look again at Sheryl's image.
Now keep in mind there is a crowd of 40+ people that are riveted to every
word being said, asking questions and desperately hoping to get a good
line-of-sight of what's being demonstrated. Then, get your sitter situated
and educated on what to expect (hoping the audience doesn't distract too
much), clean and flow your plate, then drop your plate in the bath, run it
50 feet to the stairs and back to the van to put it in the darkroom. Now
the 100 ft round trip to do a dry run with the sitter (still answering
questions in the process) mentally calculating all the variables... getting
the picture yet? Time to run back, get your plate and return, now more
instruction and final focus and adjustments. Then the exposure and back
to the darkroom. Now the crowd migrates outside onto the windy sideway
(5-10 mph gusts) to look down onto the developed image, being mindful
of the tray and jug of cyanide within a short distance of everyone’s feet,
needing to hold up and show the plate (knowing the importance of
getting it washed), debris falling into your trays ... you there with me?
Then, just when you realize you pulled off a successful image and your
audience is applauding you, comes the realization that you've only just
begun and nearly every person is hoping for their turn in front of the
camera.

Well, that's a taste of the experience and the respect I have for what
Quinn went through. And Quinn, you nailed every important aspect of the
process, history and admiration for the forefathers AND your sitters of
wet plate collodion. We could sense that your were humbled by the history
and had GREAT respect for this art. We saw you as a worthy ambassador
and it was a privilege to witness your passion and knowledge.

It's not often one gets to know an artist (unless, of course you are the
artist - as many of you are) and witness the behind-the-scenes
experience. VERY REWARDING
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toydesign View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 15:23
Congratulations Quinn !
Looks like a very successful event...!

-Greg
-Greg

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity"

"Great artists doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 17:40
Good show!

Joe
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2006 at 20:48
Way to go Q.!!! Looks like you had the crowd enraptured. A natural teacher
you are, congratulations.

It won't be long and we will have legions of wetplaters!!!

best,
s.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2006 at 06:59
Way to be Quinn! I see a teacher blooming! Follow the flow!
Matt
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2006 at 07:43
Originally posted by quinn

how do you explain "feeling" and experience?


By explaining that you have gone through the phase where you needed to rely on the meter (and/or a shutter) and that by improving your skills in this process, you no longer feel the need to use either the meter or a shutter.
Diane :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2006 at 08:08

Quinn,

You're on a roll, man!! Congratulations.

Kerik Kouklis
Platinum/Gum/Collodion
www.kerik.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2006 at 16:05

love the pimped out van Quinn!

-andrew

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2006 at 07:30
I love it!!!
Robert
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