Sometime around 2010 I began to lose interest in taking photographs. As the medium became more and more ubiquitous, I found it increasingly difficult to voice a singular perspective. A photographic image had become something you were more likely to swipe past on a screen than something you might hold in your hands. I had been taking carefully constructed still life images for decades for editorial and advertising clients. During this time, I made the switch from large format film to digital technology. I felt my relationship with the medium slowly shift. It was somewhere within this space that I started to seek a place within photography to explore new modes of image making. Longing for the tangible object and wedded to the digital process I instinctively turned my focus to the materials of the digital darkroom. “Residual Ink Drawings” plays with reclaimed materials from the inkjet printing process to point out one of the most basic premises of photography, that it is a reproduction of something outside itself.

I begin my process by collecting empty ink cartridges and maintenance tanks from various inkjet printers. After opening the cartridges, I either pour the unused ink or stamp the ink filled felt pads from the printer’s reservoir tank directly onto photo rag paper. I allow the materials to take the lead in the forms they create. The resulting unique drawings are then digitally reproduced (scanned and printed on an inkjet printer) and displayed side by side. In some cases, the ink seeps through the paper and leaves a stain on the verso. To maintain the integrity of the reproduction, this is also printed.

The original source drawing is generated by systematic chance and is created directly from inkjet printing materials. The reproduction is a result of a deliberate mediated process and is a translation of photographic digital data. By combining these two distinct and usually incompatible modes of image making I aim to set up a tension between the two realities; the analog and the digital, the actual and the artifice. The inkjet print reproduction of the abstract original becomes a representation of the ink itself. I am interested in engaging the viewer in the act of looking as his attention shifts back and forth between the two prints. I adhere to a system determined in part by myself, and in part by the manufacturer of the printer. Many of the used ink cartridges are gifted to me by fellow artists, bringing a communal aspect to the work.