The photographic darkroom as an organism


The darkroom as an organism is a concept developed during my study at MA Ecology Futures and subsequently during my residency with the Sustainable Darkroom collective (2021-2022) where I was busy researching constructed wetlands, a wastewater treatment method and the potential of its implementation alongside the photographic darkroom.

An organism is a material structure composed of interdependent parts - the body of the photography practitioner is intertwined with the materials.

I envision the darkroom as an organism becomes close to a map or an archive, functioning as a storytelling/listening board that aims to explore entangled worlds of humans and more-than-humans meeting in the photographic darkroom. I am hugely inspired by the works of Anna Tsing and Elaine Gan who developed the practices of attunement as a way to investigate the temporal layers within places. 

The darkroom as an organism is an entity with its peculiar tempo digesting materials, processes and substances inwards and expanding further from its dark walls into the outward worlds. It permeates and it lets seep through.

I map the relations from an alchemist's as well as from a carer's point of view. And in collaborations. Since my research is always circling around the notions of sustainability, it is fascinating to question the tensions and layers that accumulate through handling my practice as an entity.

Aspergillus niger and bodily swabs in the Petri dish with the photographic film.
The Darkroom as an organism, graduation exhibition, installation shots, 2022

Collected water from the washings of kombucha scobies that were treated with silver nitrate.

Mosquitos born in the water collected from the cyanotype wash bath.

DIY column chromatography filtering the cyanotype wash water and urine photographic developer and staining the piece of a found plaster.

Layers of the cyanotype wash water marked on the glass jar.