Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Robert Burley on the Disappearance of Darkness

Photographer Robert Burley is the author of The Disappearance of Darkness: Photography At the End of the Analog Era (Princeton Architectural Press, November 2012). The book documents Burley's effort to photograph the demise of analog photography and, in particular, the large film manufacturing facilities and labs (Kodak, Agfa, Polaroid) whose products and services no longer are in demand. The goal, according to Burley, was to "record something on the verge of change of disappearance. In this case, my subject is the medium itself."

Here's a preview of Burley's fascinating book:

A selection of still images may be viewed here. Burley traveled widely to take his large-format photographs. Included in his book are shots of Polaroid's plant in Waltham, Massachusetts, and the Kodak-Pathe plant in Chalon-sur-Saone, France, photography's birthplace.

Among Burley's other publications are Imperfect Health, The Spaces of the ImageThe Death of Photography,  and Viewing Olmsted. His photographic work is in museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, Musee de l'Elysee, and George Eastman House-International Museum of Photography and Film. Burley teaches at in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto.

My thanks to the Smithsonian's The Bigger Picture blog for the link to Burley's project.

For a related post, see "Tacita Dean on Film".

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Photography, like life, is an evolutionary process.

I love how he talks about it as his transformation from an analog to digital photogapher.


(I also like hearing it in his voice -- really pleasing on the ear.)