In case we of modern times, embedded hard in the throes of digital media, are ever tempted to forget that photography started as an alchemical, physical thing, let us remember to look at its remnants. Alison Rossiter (1953, USA) creates her camera-less photographic works with materials that have become rare finds: development papers that are 50, 60, or in some cases even more than 100 years old.
Rossiter activates these unused, expired photographic papers with processes designed to showcase the features that ultimately lead to their obsolescence, something which now creates their value: personality.
Her treatment of developing the papers awakens ‘flaws’ in the old paper like light leaks, oxidation or mould in the emulsion. She additionally, in some cases, works with selective development to create landscape-like images and graphic illustrations, another way of highlighting the rich potential of the paper, even after all these years, including the potency of their whites, blacks and countless gradients in between.
Rossiter's series Reduction was featured as a portfolio in GUP#48, Mixing it Up.