Black Sun 006
Part one of a three part collection, entitled "Black Sun Project"
by harlan erskine
This book, "Black Sun 006" one one part of a three part collection I intend to produce. I have put this artist proof edition up on Blurb to enter their Photobook contest and to make a few proof copies. I will keep this artist edition up on blurb until either the contest ends or 30 copies have sold.
This booklet is a piece of the larger Black Sun Project which was first shown in Miami, FL at the Bas Fisher Invitational in March 2008. Although Blurb's preview doesn't do the book justice feel free to take a look. The book is a flip book intended to imitate the visual experience of being in front of the enlarged image at the gallery show. Please see below for the project statement and associated links.
Black Sun Project
“The sun is not fiery after all, but a dead planet. We on earth give it its light.”
My photography certainly began in a formalistic project based practice but this particular project is very much a departure for me because I am experimenting in photographic abstraction. Not long after photographyâ€™s invention, many photographers experimented with abstraction of photographic space. Even the early contact prints of plants produced by the inventor of the Calotype, Henry Fox Talbot, are in essence an exploration in photographic abstraction. I am particularly interested in the later abstraction from the 1930’s of Man Ray and his then assistant Lee Miller and their rediscovery of Solarizations or the Sabattier Effect. Particularly interesting are the more direct echos of my project in the singular images from Ansel Adams and Minor White. Their Black Sun images, through overexposure solarization, are the analogue version of my images. Therefore, in a similar way, they explored abstraction in relation to the contemporary photographic technology of their timeâ€“this exploration, titled Black Sun Project, explores photography through a significant contemporary technology, the mobile phone.
Contemporary practice has very much brought a particular kind formalism into vogue but with new sets of guidelines. I am certainly guilty of applying many of these parameters within my own work but in moving away from my previous methods of working, I have found some clarity in my previous explorations as well as a new avenue to explore. I will continue to work the way I used to but every so often, it is beneficial to perform radical change and see where it leads. Taryn Simon’s photograph of the albino tiger is good example of a photographer who is photographing an evolutionary glitch/mistake. Nature normally weeds out albino tigers born in the wild since they are not well suited to their surroundings and have a very tough time surviving–they tend to get horribly sunburn and stick out in its surroundings. By the same logic, technology companies normally weed out glitches from their products (we hope they do anyway) to improve their products. The manufacturer of this cellular phone eventually weeded out the black sun solarization effect so this artwork is self–reflexively about that mistake or glitch in the technological evolution of mobile photography and photography in general.