Improvised Photographs Exhibition

I was commissioned to simulate a pinhole camera exposure for two screen-based works in Mark Summers’ Improvised Photographs exhibition. The exhibition is hosted by DINA, Sheffield and runs from 29th September until 2nd December 2017.

Mark writes –

“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 makes 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 - Improvised Photographs

Amy Beeston