Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 23, 2012.

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Constructing a traditional analog photo darkroom/alternative photo process lab in Burgundy France, at La Porte Peinte arts center.

The B&W photo you see here was the result of my film literally melting in the deserts of Egypt...not something that would ever happen in digital photography.  I am an artist who was introduced to the photographic process through the magic of analog darkrooms...loading film into canisters through blackout bags, agitating developer tanks in wet sinks, and watching images appear slowly from the blankness of a white sheet of paper under the warm glow of red safelights.  

I believe strongly that photography as a medium should continue to evolve, but also not forget its foundation as an artform that existed outside of computers and digital printers.  While these tools only add to the wonderful complexity of photography, they can never replace the tangible and thrilling process of creating photographs in analog form.  Being in a darkroom, a space consecrated to creativity, is a unique and special experience that I hope to share with artists and novices alike.

La Porte Peinte Centre Pour Les Arts is a wonderful international arts center located in an enchanted medieval village just 2 hours by train from Paris.  There stands in the village a house that once belonged to family of Henri Cartier-Bresson (one of the masters of photography), and the surrounding countryside is incredibly inspiring and vibrant creative energy abounds.  Burgundy is the birthplace of photography, and it is only fitting to continue its legacy today in the region, within easy access to Paris, one of the world's major art capitals.

The funds raised are being used to pay for the renovation of 2 spaces within the art center, one to house the darkroom, the other an alternative process and negative developing lab.  I am doing everything myself, and we need to pay for all the equipment (enlarger, lenses, negative carriers, trays, tongs, lights, timers, etc) and I am hand building a custom sink for the developing process in the darkroom.  Any leftover funds will be used to stock the darkroom with chemicals and paper for artists to begin creating work, hopefully starting summer 2012. 

For more information about La Porte Peinte, visit www.laportepeinte.com, see our Artist in Residence blog at lppartistenresidence.tumblr.com, or email me directly at lucas.lai@gmail.com

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE ARTS!!! 

FAQ

  • The darkroom and processing lab should be finished in May 2012, ready for use!

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  • This all depends on what kind of residency you are doing and which masterclass. The art center hosts all kinds of creative people: composers, photographers, dancers, sculptors, painters, every kind of creativity is welcome! Please contact La Porte Peinte for more info: info@laportepeinte.com

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  • La Porte Peinte is an international arts center, so people from anywhere can come! Either do a residency here or participate in a workshop or eventually the center will also rent the darkroom out to those who already know how to do black and white printing and just need the space to be creative! Please contact La Porte Peinte directly for more information: info@laportepeinte.com

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  • First you have to make it to France. Then if you have a car you can drive from Paris in about 2.5 hrs, but the easiest way is to take the train which is very comfortable, from Paris Gare du Bercy to Tonnerre. Then Noyers Sur Serein is just a 20 minute taxi ride away through amazingly beautiful Burgundy countryside.

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    A thank you for your vote of confidence in me and for supporting analog methods in photography!

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    A hand made personal card mailed to wherever you are in the world to say thanks for your support in keeping analog methods alive!

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    An 8x10 inch fine art digital print from my archive of images, signed. Selection to be made with donor.

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    An 11x14 inch fine art digital print from my archive of images, signed. Selection to be made with donor.

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    An 16x20 inch fine art digital print from my archive of images, signed. Selection to be made with donor.

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    A one of a kind unique hand printed photograph, signed and made expressly for you once the darkroom is complete! Image to be discussed with donor based on personal tastes.

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    Two unique hand printed photographs, signed, and made expressly for you once the darkroom is complete. Images to be discussed with donor based on personal tastes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)