Jessica Adams

I use the everyday phenomena of light as a source material for my unconventional experimentations with 35mm film. For my ongoing Altered Landscapes series I photograph shifting streaks of light and then submit my undeveloped negatives to physical manipulations, like putting them in the laundry machine, soaking them in a lake and opening up the back of the camera to expose the film to light. The resulting imagery reveals surprising colors and lines that are inherent to the quality of film, and yet invisible without the manipulations. 

These projects are similar to meditation: the goal is to reveal the previously unseen in order to make the new light become a sort of consciousness. The practice of manipulating film is an effort at locating a phenomenological presence that can only be revealed through that physical destruction. The process and result of these alterations is similar to closing the eyes when in front of the sun; unexpected lights, colors, and lines begin to form within the subconscious.

I am fascinated by the way that light moves throughout the day, and how the effort of tracking it affects our understanding of the way the natural world operates. Shifting light can alter our environments, our moods, and our awareness of physical and mental space. By harnessing the ephemeral passing of light, the altered image becomes a unique representation of a singular moment in time, a one-time combination of light, color, and chemical reaction that can never again be duplicated, except through the photograph.

— Jessica Adams, Brooklyn, New York, USA