darkroom (deceptively) in use

It’s going to get a little quiet on the blog as I feverishly work to put together a portfolio for a review on Wednesday. I think anyone at the start of a residency has romantic visions of creating new work that could not have been done anywhere else. or should I say, thought that way?

It seems like many of my manic habits are here in Boston. Reprinting things. Wrestling with humidity and the specifics qualities of the local water supply. Trying to print a specific size. Lamenting the way a printer lays down ink. Cursing myself for buying budget transparency material for printing the negatives.

The new challenge this time around: the only room I don’t have key access to is the darkroom in which I print the larger vandyke browns and where I process the spent fixer. In order to prevent the campus safety from locking it (I have to walk up and down five flights of stairs to ask them to re-open it) I have resorted to deception. It has become a game of making the darkroom look like it’s in use when I am in another room printing a negative or exposing a VDB, in the studio cutting down negatives or tearing sheets or working in Photoshopto get the scan into a form ready to print.

How do I deceive? Powering up a boombox that is tuned to WGBH (lots of jazz in the evenings). Turning the cylindrical darkroom door so that it looks like I have entered the darkroom. Finally, turning on the “darkroom in use sign”.


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