A few of my improvised photos will be on show from 29th September at DINA,
Also showing are a couple of recent digital experiments which I made in collaboration with Amy Beeston who generously used her coding skills to make my ‘simple'(!) idea work in practice – thank you, Amy!
Thanks too to Guy Brown for his help with earlier prototypes.
IMPROVISED PHOTOGRAPHS – WORKS IN PROGRESS
“THIS EXHIBITION shows a small number of images and digital works from an ongoing project by Mark Summers in which he photographically examines the act of improvisation.
Improvisers are given a space and time in which they can play, with their movements creating the image. A static camera pmakes the image while the musician plays. The length of the improvisation is determined by the exposure time which, by using a pinhole camera, is around four minutes.
In effect this stretches standard photographic time (fractions of a second) into musical time (minutes).
The long exposure times mean that an image must be built up gradually. In these circumstances, a relatively brief movement will not appear if performed once, but may become visible if repeated multiple times. For example, a single note bowed on a stringed instrument will be invisible, but a trace of that movement may be seen if twenty notes are similarly bowed. The resulting images are somewhat impressionistic, suggesting (but not directly depicting) the improviser’s movements.
The whole process is a collaboration, so responsibility for the final image is shared between the photographer and the improviser.
MARK SUMMERS has been a musician for all but four years of his life, playing mainly cello and viola da gamba. A slightly winding path has led him through academia and to an ongoing PhD at University of Sheffield, exploring the performance of improvised music with computers.
Mark developed an interest in photography early on after getting a 110 camera with tokens from a breakfast cereal. Alongside this project, his current focus is on using printing techniques such as cyanotype, lumen prints and photogravure.”