21_Light and Bytes

Artificial intelligence generated wet plate collodion images.

Artists: Fekete Máté

With this work, my goal was to combine one of the oldest archaic imaging technologies with a text-to-image tool that is available to everyone, to bring the virtual world into the physical space. The meeting of the two technologies is both fast and slow, old and new, analogue and digital. From a technical point of view, the images are at once a memento of the preservation of tradition and of progress.

Historical summary:

In the 19th century, the invention of photogravure was undeniably one of the most significant advances in image-making, with a major impact on the arts. The most important contribution of photography to the development of the 19th century was the invention of the photographic technique, which was one of the most important in the history of the art. This was later replaced by the gelatin dry plate process from the end of the 19th century (Richard Leach Maddox 1871).

A brief description of this process:

On a carefully degreased and dusted glass plate, collodion (gunpowder and iodine and cadmium salts dissolved in a mixture of alcohol and ether) is poured. The glass plate is sensitized with an acidified solution of silver nitrate, then immediately exposed (wet) in the machine and developed. After washing and drying, the image is protected from corrosion with sandarac varnish.