Dark Adaptation is an installation of unfixed photograms that are viewed under irregular intervals of light. These shifts in light alternate between a red “safelight” bulb, which suspends the image, and a tungsten-filament bulb, which gradually overwrites it. In traditional darkroom photography, a safelight provides just enough illumination for one to see but only within a part of the visible spectrum to which photographic material is largely insensitive. Prolonging the eclipse of each photogram’s initial image, the safelight extends the photographic moment into a durational process; a change that would normally take a few hours under regular lighting conditions is drawn out over weeks. Considering the photogram as an object of direct experience, the work attempts to manifest the nature of light and to image the intangible space that exceeds perception, as if such things could be committed to paper. Dark Adaptation explores the parallels between the sensitivity of human vision and photographic materials, contemplating the limits and the effects of visibility and time.

Dark Adaptation was first realized at Bert Green Fine Art Chicago in January/February 2017.

Dark Adaptation
Installation view of Dark Adaptation, 2017
lightproof room, black latex wall paint, 4 framed unfixed photograms, red safelight bulb, tungsten bulb
10 x 10 foot room
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation lightproof room, black latex wall paint, 4 framed unfixed photograms, red safelight bulb, tungsten bulb
Installation view of Dark Adaptation, 2017
lightproof room, black latex wall paint, 4 framed unfixed photograms, red safelight bulb, tungsten bulb
10 x 10 foot room
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation lightproof room, black latex wall paint, 4 framed unfixed photograms, red safelight bulb, tungsten bulb
Installation view of Dark Adaptation, 2017
lightproof room, black latex wall paint, 4 framed unfixed photograms, red safelight bulb, tungsten bulb
10 x 10 foot room
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
Ascending Gradient (Forte Fortezo G4 FB)
photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
14 x 11 inches (print); 18 x 15 inches (frame)

The color shift of the photogram was documented weekly during the exhibition. From left to right: original to end of week 5.
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
Perceived Transparency (Kodak Polycontrast III RC)
photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
20 x 16 inches (print); 24 x 20 inches (frame)

The color shift of the photogram was documented weekly during the exhibition. From left to right: original to end of week 5.
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
Perceived Transparency (Kodak Kodabrome II RC)
photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
20 x 16 inches (print); 24 x 20 inches (frame)

The color shift of the photogram was documented weekly during the exhibition. From left to right: original to end of week 5.
Julie Weber Dark Adaptation photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
Descending Gradient (Ilford Multigrade FB)
photogram on unfixed gelatin silver paper, scored
14 x 11 inches (print); 18 x 15 inches (frame)

The color shift of the photogram was documented weekly during the exhibition. From left to right: original to end of week 5.
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