Melitte Buchman Untitled, from the Illumination Array
Photo Date 2011 Print Date 2011
Dimensions 8-1/2 x 6-1/2 in. (216 x 165 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Unique wet-plate collodion tintype, signed on verso. According to the photographer, "This selection of work comprises The Illumination Array, part of a larger corpus that ultimately forms a modern cabinet of curiosities. In this “curiosity” light is both subject and medium as I photograph things that emit, reflect, and transform light. The conundrum of using a light medium to fix light is an intentional vehicle to make memories into a tangible medium."
Melitte Buchman has a master’s degree in photography from NYU/Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. She received her BFA in photography from Empire State College, with additional work done at George Eastman House and at Visual Studies Workshop, both in Rochester, NY. She teaches video preservation, digital imaging, and color management at NYU and other schools. She also teaches wet-plate collodion and salt-printing, two archaic photographic processes, and is a noted practitioner of the tintype process. Buchman is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), member and co-chair of the Magnetic Tape Crisis Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP), board member of the Center for Alternative Photography (CAP), member of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), and on the standards working group of National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA).
Exhibitions include Soho Photo, CCBC Gallery, BAG Gallery, 23 Sandy Gallery, 80 WSE Gallery, Swallow Gallery, and Tilt Gallery. Recent publications include Shutterclank, and View Camera Magazine. She won First Place in the 2014 National Alternative Processes Competition. Buchman lives in Brooklyn, NY.
As Buchman notes: "It is unclear to me why I am drawn to this difficult and beautiful black and white process. For whatever reason it creates objects that have a rich surface beneath which worlds can emerge. Each object that I choose out of the sea of possibilities is a veiled portrait which is often more truthful about modern life and myself than I anticipate. I photograph modern, sometimes mysterious objects using the process of wet plate collodion, commonly known as tintype. By using a process that has historical authority I can mirror the objects that I handle and live with everyday and reveal them as encrypted objects that I have chosen to share my life with."
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