The Blood Portrait project is an ongoing exploration and developing body of work that uses human blood as a medium for portraiture. It represents a Postdigital approach to printmaking that addresses the interplay between analog, digital, and biological systems.
Beginning in late 2011, I began experiments to identify the various ways of altering the chemistry of human blood in order to produce a predictable, consistent, and archival material for photographic printing and printmaking. The first prints from this body of work can be viewed on the Blood Portrait page.
The first iteration of this work, focused on halftone and continuous tone photographic prints, is credited as historically the first to use human blood in the creation of photographic portraits made through photo-chemical and photo-mechanical means.
This is a solargraph, a type of pinhole photograph made from an ultra-long exposure spanning many months. In this case, a solargraph was made of a Brooklyn rooftop with a distant view of Manhattan. The exposure lasted 7 months and 25 days from September 2, 2012 to April 27, 2013. The camera survived and recorded through Hurricane Sandy which caused tens of billions of dollars in damage across New York state. The exposure was so long that virtually no sign of the storm can be seen.
A solargraph is produced when silver-bromide in B&W silver gelatin enlarging paper undergoes a chemical change due to extreme but gradual overexposure. The result is a color representation of an extended period of time. While predating both Postdigital and Digital, the solargraph represents primary tenets of the Postdigital movement. In practice, the original solargraph produces a faint latent image which cannot be chemically developed or permanently fixed. Once removed from the camera, any additional exposure to light will destroy the original image. Such is the case when digitally scanned, which is required for the solargraph to be represented in a permanent and viewable state. This highlights the futility of the analog vs. digital debate through a process that posits the analog and digital origins of a work as irrelevant.
I am continuing to explore the solargraphic process.