Re: Burying Film

From: Caryn Cline (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Oct 30 2009 - 05:54:37 PDT

Hello Ken,

Many thanks for your detailed posting about your experiences burying and
composting film. When you worked with a processed image, did you use the
negative or a work print? Has anyone buried or composted handmade frames?
"recycled" images? I want to put film in my barrel-style composter. Any

I, too, have enjoyed this thread. Thank you, Lisa, for getting it started
with your question.



Caryn Cline
New York and Seattle

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM, Ken Paul Rosenthal <
email suppressed> wrote:

> hi lisa,
> i've done an extensive amount of experimentation with burying over the
> years--in soil and sand--as well as composting--berries, herbs, seaweed,
> etc. while i've primarily worked with a processed image, i've also used
> black (acetate) leader which has emulsion.
> apart from whatever differences camera stock vs processed film could offer
> you just in terms of their materiality, i suggest that you simply base your
> 'need' on whether or not you wish to manipulate apre-shot image or produce a
> purely abstract one.
> in regard to how long to bury the film, the degree of moisture and texture
> of the ground are most critical. regarding the latter, for example, if you
> bury it in sand vs soil, the latter may evidence a finer texture. experiment
> with small pieces first. and i generally found slightly damp conditions to
> be 'optimal' with a burying period of just 3 days.
> when you remove it, i suggest not pulling it out like a bird pulls a worm.
> the emulsion will be so soft, the image will squeegee right off. instead,
> dig around it, cup your hands and pull out the surrounding area. don't wash
> it, because everything will slide right off. let it dry in the sun or blow
> dry it--then wash it. in my experience, it won't wash off the second time
> it's dampened.
> lastly, it's easy to forget where one buries the film! i used to make a
> little marker from a short section of coat hanger and flag the top inch with
> white paper tape. be careful at the ocean! the tide will snatch your film!
> even if you bury it 3 feet down, 50 yards from the shoreline! oh--and don't
> leave flags where people might step on them.
> have fun...ken
> ------------------------------
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> on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.