Aspen Mays

Dodging Tools, 2018

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Risograph book, includes one Cyanotype print
12.0 x 9.0 in (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Edition of 100
Book signed on last page, cyanotype is signed on verso


This item ships from New York, NY, US.


Photographs and text by Aspen Mays.
Published by Penumbra Foundation. 40 pp
Risograph printing & die-cut covers.
Limited Edition of 100 copies with one cyanotype print.

"Dodging tools are used in the darkroom to selectively alter the amount of light striking photographic paper while it is exposed. They are often crude and makeshift, cobbled together from scraps and materials at hand. If used “properly” while making a print, they are kept in motion and therefore, their actual shape and silhouette (if they were even used) remains unseen and unknown. In a way, as objects, they are now doubly unrecognizable.

Even though the concept of dodging and burning is a foundational function in Photoshop, digital technology has rendered these tools and the physical nature of their use obsolete, replaced by movements of the mouse instead. The photograms reproduced in this book are made from my collection of dodging tools, started in 2010, with several that I found in an abandoned darkroom at the National Astronomical Observatory in Chile during a Fulbright Fellowship. I was initially struck by the ways in which their basic utility seemed to stand in opposition to the vast technological sophistication of the telescopes being used at the same facility. I came to think of their improvisational character as sharing a common tool-making impulse, all in service to the subjective nature of seeing."
-Aspen Mays.

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