An triptych mounted on a wall.

Brittany Nelson

Artist in Residence, 2017

A portrait of a person against a light background.

Artist Statement

My work and research involves the study and intentional misuse of photographic chemistry and 19th Century techniques to challenge tradition and conservatism within my medium. I utilize material studies and abstraction to move away from the referential, and into the philosophically ideal. Instead of using an antiquated process in the present to speak about the past, I want to reimagine it to speak about the future. Utilizing negatives that are created and printed digitally, themes of science fiction are explored with the goal of creating an object viewed as alien. I’m interested in circumventing heavy themes of nostalgia associated with historic photographic process by asking the viewer to examine the material purely as a surface.

While at Headlands

While in residence at Headlands, I plan to research the first commercially viable photographic process, the Daguerreotype. By combing through the original description of the process from 1839, my goal is to reimagine the process from the ground up, both conceptually and chemically. Part of this process will involve constructing images digitally and developing a system to translate an on-screen environment to the Daguerreotype process.