Todd Johnson is an artist and educator currently undertaking a PhD at Deakin University. His research interests include photographic authorship, index and materialism in the digital age. Todd is a casual lecturer at Deakin University and Australian Catholic University in the Department of Photography and Visual Arts.
The Archaeology of Urban Spaces
These materialist photographs are the result of collaboration between the camera and the urban landscape. On a technical level, I have collected various articles from the landscape, and then placed them inside my Rolleiflex medium format camera. Shards of glass, a discarded ribbon, plastic wrappers, local plants, tree sap, a caterpillar; these materials and live creatures have fallen directly on top of the photographic emulsion, leaving their trace as an ‘in-camera photogram’. The subject is literally inside the camera as it is re-distributed and projected onto the picture plane of the same location where it was originally found. This ongoing collaboration is an attempt to reclaim control over the camera apparatus, by allowing elements of the landscape to more overtly steer the photographic authoring process. What results is a highly unpredictable visual arrangement that falls somewhere between intention and chance.
To see more of Todd’s photographs, please visit his website.