Today photography is primarily viewed as a mechanical and technologically driven medium. This limited view of photography can be a disservice to the medium. Photography is much more than a camera and lens attached to a recording medium. The digital revolution helped to remove the importance of printing from photography. These two were very close relatives before then. With digital taking over the camera and photography, I felt the need to react and look at what was being left behind, and that was the darkroom.

After all, a photograph does not truly exist without a print. It may exist on a card or in a camera’s memory or some other electronic storage but it is not a photograph in that state, it is simply 1’s and 0’s, bits of information. Even a latent print in the darkroom is still a print, albeit without an image. It has yet to be fully realized but it has weight, both in the physical world and in the potential for what is unseen but surely there.

The chemistry, paper, enlargers, running water, and amber glow; all these things had a very tangible and powerful experience over the artist in the darkroom space. The materials and places needed a voice, to be displayed without or with minimal reference to a technically pure photograph. This series of works focuses on the darkroom and printing aspect of photography as a means for pure expression, as the camera and act of photographing takes backstage, or a supporting role. This is accomplished by tearing down the physical surface of the print and thus creating a new and equal focal point with the artists’ hand visible along with a printed image. The selection of camera produced images are not meant to be cohesive from piece to piece, but instead the images contain elements such as human figures, natural landscapes, and a deck of cards. These diverse elements relate to the human experience of the artist as they see the calming and routine properties of nature and the terrifyingly beautiful element of chance we deal with everyday.

—Ross Faircloth