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Handmade Emulsion: Creating Black and White Film Stock From Scratch
Presented by Alex MacKenzie

All images: Alex MacKenzie

no.w.here members: 90, non-members 120.
no.w.here, First Floor, 316 - 318 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AG
10:30 - 5:30pm, Saturday 2nd March 2013
10:30 - 5:30pm, Saturday 2nd March 2013

The alchemical nature and serendipity of the handmade image are explored in this immersive how-to of hand-brewed emulsion.

In this workshop a simple, raw, low ISO black and white film stock will be created using three key ingredients in the production of a silver based emulsion: gelatin, potassium bromide, and silver nitrate. The workshop will include a basic chemistry lesson to introduce the essential make-up of film emulsion, as well as a discussion of technique including a contextual screening of examples, and the creation of an actual emulsion in a darkroom. The completed emulsion is then literally painted on to clear film strips, left to dry and then used for contact printing and rayo / photogramming.

Hand processing and an assessment of the results will follow. If there is time and the weather is right, the possibility of loading the film into a camera and shooting will be explored as well.

This workshop is aimed at both experienced practitioners and beginners, and includes all film stock, chemistry, and supplies. It is also recommended that you bring small objects of 16mm width or less or filmstrips for rayogramming and contacting printing onto the filmstrips.

No prior experience is necessary.

Alex MacKenzie is an experimental film artist working primarily with analog equipment and hand processed imagery. He creates works of expanded cinema, light projection installation, and projector performance. His work has screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the EXiS Experimental Film Festival in Seoul, Lightcone in Paris, Kino Arsenal in Berlin and others. Alex was the founder and curator of the Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images, the Blinding Light!! Cinema and the Vancouver Underground Film Festival.


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