“I’ll never forget the day Marilyn and I were walking around New York City, just having a stroll on a nice day. She loved New York because no one bothered her there like they did in Hollywood, she could put on her plain-jane clothes and no one would notice her. She loved that. So as we we’re walking down Broadway, she turns to me and says ‘Do you want to see me become her?’ I didn’t know what she meant but I just said ‘Yes’- and then I saw it. I don’t know how to explain what she did because it was so very subtle, but she turned something on within herself that was almost like magic. And suddenly cars were slowing and people were turning their heads and stopping to stare. They were recognizing that this was Marilyn Monroe as if she pulled off a mask or something, even though a second ago nobody noticed her. I had never seen anything like it before.” - Amy Greene, wife of Marilyn’s personal photographer Milton Greene
Phillip Stearns electrocutes unexposed instant film with 15,000 volts.
He also pours various household chemicals (like bleach) onto the prints to make the colors and corrosion you see. The process is about as beautiful as the end result. You can watch how it’s done here.
We asked Phillip a few questions about his process:What inspired you to apply electricity to film as opposed to just chemicals?My explorations were guided most by what materials I had available. A big batch of this instant color film was being thrown out, presumably by a photographer in my building transitioning out of analog film. Two years ago, I received a batch of neon tubes and high voltage ballasts to drive them. After tinkering with interrupting the process of developing the film (after exposing to light) and discovering the painterly qualities such physical manipulations produced, I started to think about how else I work with the film.Through experimenting with digital cameras a couple of years prior to these experiments in film, I became aware of Hiroshi Suigimoto’s work of subjecting photopaper to electric discharges and thought that I could try something similar with the neon ballasts and the color film itself.
How did you go about making sure your process was actually safe to do?I caution, again, this is not safe. No one should try this on their own, unless assisted by a qualified electrician trained in dealing with high voltages, and a physician. Death by electrocution is quite real.Any other tips or comments you have for photographers who want to explore analog or digital experiments?Look at what you have around you. Use it differently. Look for potentials that exist just beyond, hidden within the normally prescribed perception of things. Play, but be smart about it. Be safe.
“Dwarves show up a lot in fantasy genre, but when they do, they’re these sorts of caricatures, woodland creatures or the punchline of jokes,” Dinklage says. “Nobody gives them a romance. Nobody gives them fully formed personalities, and Tyrion is one of the richest characters I have ever come across. He’s a human being.”
— Peter Dinklage
Aubrey Plaza/April Ludgate is a perfect lady.