As I was cleaning up my studio space, I went through a box of negatives. They seemed so antiquated yet so intimate. I looked for a way to give them a second life.
As much as I love living in a digital world, I have to admit that negatives are fascinating objects.
They are tiny windows into our past, us minus the light.
They are like comic strips when they tell a story in a few wordless images.
Playing with the material
Although obsolete, they still carry history and meaning, and throwing them away feels like such a loss.
I spent some time journaling and playing with different ideas. They all involved interacting with the negatives. I thought of glasses, black boxes, mini projectors, etc. Each idea was bringing a new one, like a chain reaction, driven by meaning.
I played with the sprocket holes, the small perforations that run along the edges of the film to transport it. The movement reminded me of this DIY music box I had in my studio.
I started punching holes in the negatives (melodic lines, chords) before running them through the music box. It worked.
Building the base
This object had to be inviting and as self-explanatory as possible. I built a wooden base that also holds the negatives, at an angle.
Each slide plays a short, diatonic miniature. Since it can be flipped both ways (length and width), the negative actually offers four variations.
Don't miss projects like this
I send a bi-monthly newsletter. If you’ve enjoyed learning about this project, I think you’ll be inspired to make stuff.