A solargraph is a long-exposure photograph that is recorded inside a pinhole camera directly onto photo paper. It reveals the sun’s path through the sky over a period of weeks or months. These highly sensitive, inverted images will be destroyed by exposure to full light, so the only way to see them is by using a digital scanner to capture the image immediately before it is ruined by the light that “develops” it. Although these images are recorded on black and white photo paper, the resulting image is in full color.

This process was invented in 2000 in the “Solaris” collaboration between Polish and Spanish artists who used it to record a comparison of sun paths at different latitudes around the world.

My first solargraph (Lakeland Ave) was taken between the fall equinox 2015 and New Years Day 2016. I have other cameras up around Lake Monona, recording solargraphs I will develop after the spring equinox. Making a camera is very easy and inexpensive. You can contact me about making one in Madison, or connect with this project in Finland to become part of a world map of solargraphs taken around the globe.

This is one of the printmaking methods I will be using during my artist residency in the Arctic in June 2016.


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