The images in this series are scans of found 35mm slides. I came across a box of them next to the trash a few months ago. They were unlabeled, undated, and unsourced. I’ve put together a selection of 15, which now form a slideshow you can click through on your computer monitor. Maybe you will recognize some of the images. Others you may not recognize specifically, but you will certainly be familiar with their sources – art monographs, fashion magazines, notebooks and textbooks, technical manuals.
The slides were produced on a copy stand which, before the flatbed scanner, was the simplest means of reproducing images. Each one contains an interruption of the image by the spine of the book in which it originally appeared. The visibility of the spine is what attracts me to them. It marks only one of the many transformations these images have undergone since they were produced by the original photographer or artist. But in doing so, it places the histories and genealogies of these images in the foreground. The slides were shot for pedagogical purposes, to be projected large in front of a classroom and discussed as a group. Before that, they were published in books and magazines, to be purchased and leafed through by individuals. And before that they were, perhaps, images matted and framed behind glass on a wall. Now we may be browsing effortlessly through them, each on our slick backlit monitors. But the spine’s interruption of the image reminds us of where they came from in the first place, and how our ways of encountering them continue to shift along with the technology that delivers them to us.