Jonito Arguelles

Eigengrau  2015 - 2017 - ongoing

I Started this research pondering the duality of photography. On the one hand photography is very ephemeral. It captures a fleeting moment in time, a moment which the photographer doesn’t even see since the shutter physically closes at the moment of exposure. At the same time it is a very robust thing, the moment is preserved for all time. We are then able to see it for as long as we wish. One could say that photography in essence ‘captures’ a moment in time and preserves it.

This same duality can be found in the phenomenon that I experiment with in my work. The positive afterimage. This phenomenon is created when a person, standing in dark room, experiences a sudden and short flash of light. This results in a ‘positive’ afterimage of whatever the person was looking at at the time the flash went off. This image is ephemeral in the sense that it dissipates within seconds of being created but at the same it creates a memory, we can relive that image only in our minds. Every afterimage is unique and can’t be captured by any form or technique we have available at the time.


Studying this afterimage therefore becomes an exercise in studying its effects, its lingering traces on the people that experienced them.


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