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High Voltage Image Making is a project exploring the use of electrical discharge as a means of creating images in photographic media.
High Voltage Images is a project exploring experimental photographic processes and alternative image making techniques using analog film.
High Voltage Images is a project exploring experimental photographic processes and alternative image making techniques using analog film.
525 backers pledged $35,634 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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High Voltage Image Making

$35,634

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The history of photography isn't just one about how a culture redefines how it sees itself and imagines the world through images, it's also a history of the material sciences and how an expanded understanding of our physical world and its properties can be experienced in ways previously unimagined.

High Voltage Image Making is a developing body of work that started with the Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Other Vision Technologies, Real or Otherwise Imagined and has grown to include Polaroid Type 55 @ 15KV. Through the application of high voltage and various chemical agents, this project explores and extends the expressive capacity of instant photographic film technology beyond its ability to capture images of the world. These treatments approach the film technology as a recording media, capable of creating images from physical, electrical, and chemical transformations. The project takes its cues from artists such as Man Ray (photogram), Pierre Cordier (chemigram), Marco Breuer (scratched expose and developed c-prints), Chris McCaw (sunburned prints) and Hiroshi Sugimoto (static discharges on photopaper).

With your support I will:

1. Create Archival scans and Enlarged Prints for Exhibition.

Pieces from Retinal Pigment Epithelium, Type 55, and new works will be scanned, archived and printed for a confirmed solo exhibition at Transfer Gallery (date TBD).

The original prints from this body of work are relatively small, measuring only 3x4 and 4x5 inches. The detail produced by the film itself though is staggering. Entire worlds reveal themselves, but only when viewed scaled up. To get the full experience of the work requires the originals be scan at high resolution to enlarged prints. Some of these signed and editioned prints are being offered as rewards!

2. Create New Work

In addition to working on new series for High Voltage Image Making, I'll be producing new works just for you. Check out the rewards!

FEATURED REWARD: Woven Throw - $225

 I was curious to see how well images from the High Voltage Image Making project would transfer into textiles, so put together a design file for this throw, made from the lead image for the Kickstarter campaign, and sent it off to the weavers who make my Glitch Textiles. I’m super pleased with the results and will be making this design available for a limited time, exclusively through this kickstarter campaign as a reward for backing at the $225 level. (see more images)

Polaroid Type 55 at 15KV
Polaroid Type 55 at 15KV

Electronics and photography have been life long passions of mine. This project allows me to merge the two in the most unlikely of ways.

Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

Working high voltages is dangerous. There is a very small, but non-zero, chance that I may be electrocuted in the process of fulfilling rewards. I've been shocked doing this before, and was fine, experiencing little more than a surprising, yet painful, zap. Trust me, I've learned my lesson and have a healthy respect for the powerful forces I'm dealing with. I intend to live to see all of your rewards fulfilled!

All jokes aside, the biggest risk is that the rewards are delayed by a month or two due to unforeseen obstacles in production. At present, I have a friendly relationship with a print lab that will produce the archival scans and enlargements.

On the 3.25x4.25 custom originals, I'll send nothing but the finest, however the process is incredibly variable. When the time comes, I'll let you select general features you'd like your print to have, and I'll do my very best to deliver. If the original isn't to your satisfaction, simply return it and I'll create another one as soon as it's received.

As of February 2014, Fujifilm had not made any announcements to discontinue the FP-100c type instant color film used in this project. So long as Fujifilm continues to make this fine product, I'll be able to blast it with high voltage and slather it in all sorts of caustic chemicals. For your viewing pleasure, of course!

There is also a risk that your reward may get damaged during transit. Rewards above $250 will be insured. Those below, will not. However, all prints with the exception of 8x10 and 11x14 sizes will be shipped rolled with glassine in heavy duty 3"+ diameter mailing tubes. For sizes 24x36 and larger, prints will be rolled on a large diameter tube before being inserted in their padded mailing tubes.

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FAQ

  • No Problem! First send me a message letting me know which rewards you'd like. Next, enter the pledge amount that would cover both rewards and choose one of the rewards you'd like to receive. When the campaign is over, I'll have a special note section in the backer survey for you to claim the additional rewards.

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  • ORIGINALS:

    The Original is completely unique. It's the master object from which all enlargements are made. All other prints offered here are enlargements. These may be small, but if you back for one, you can be sure that you will have the only one like it.

    PRINTS: (Ranked according to quality)

    Archival inkjet prints are printed on Epson (11880 and smaller) professional printers on museum quality paper with archival inks. Test printing will ultimately reveal which paper you'll receive, but it comes down to making a choice between heavy rag cotton water color paper or luster coated inkjet paper. In my experience, this method of printing has a superior tonal range, vibrant colors, and unmatched crispness.

    C-prints are photographic prints made using lasers! They will all be full bleed, cropped, and printed on Kodak Endura Professional Luster paper.

    Posters are inkjet prints on 46# coated paper. Images will be cropped to fit the poster aspect ratio and are printed with a 0.5 inch white border.

    Postcards are printed on 15pt coated card stock.

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  • Yes!

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  • The originals are completely unique.

    Archival inkjet prints:
    48x60" - Edition of 5 (per Image)
    24x36" - Edition of 10
    16x24" - Edition of 10

    C-prints:
    Editions will close and final numbers be tallied once the project funding period has ended.

    Posters:
    Limited to 100

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  • This only applies to you if you backed for the archival inkjet prints (not the poster or c-prints) or if you backed for one of the original works that is not a commission.

    For inkjet prints and non-commissioned originals, I'll send a link to a site that will allow you to select and confirm your choices as well as track and display how many images are left in that edition.

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  • Shipping internationally will be done primarily via USPS, except for the top two tiers, for which couriers will be used. The additional fee covers the cost of shipping and handling. Each piece of international mail requires a customs declaration form. As a result, you may be charged additional importation taxes, duties, or tariffs. The exact amounts depend on the value of the reward(s) and the policies of your country. For rewards valued at $250 and more, the shipping fee will include insurance.

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  • When the funding period ends, I'll send out a backer survey. There, you'll be able to choose from the images listed in the reward description.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Exclusive high resolution desktop background/wallpaper download of new images made by zapping instant film with dangerously high voltages!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Thank You postcard featuring an image from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited Edition 8"x10" c-print of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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    Limited 98 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Limited Edition 11"x14" c-print of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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    Limited 57 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    TWO Limited Edition 8"x10" c-prints of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series

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    Limited 38 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Limited Edition Signed 24x36" poster print (46# Bond Paper, 1/2" Margin) of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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    Limited 75 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Limited Edition 16"x24" c-print of an image from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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    Limited 43 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THREE Limited Edition 8"x10" c-prints of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series.

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    Limited 36 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FOUR Limited Edition 8"x10" c-prints, or TWO Limited Edition 11"x14" c-prints of your choice of images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series.

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    Limited 30 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Limited Edition Signed 20"x30" c-print of of an image from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series.

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    Limited 7 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A Limited Edition photo book featuring previously unpublished images from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Type 55 at 15kV projects in addition to new works.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    A 53" x 71" woven blanket featuring the main image for the High Voltage Image Making project on Kickstarter.

    http://wp.me/p1HqyJ-Qz

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Commission a NEW UNIQUE ORIGINAL work made using Fujifilm FP-100c instant color film and 15,000 volts of electricity. Dimensions: 3.25 x 4.25 in

    Made just for you!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Limited Edition Signed 16"x24" archival color inkjet print of an image from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipstearns/sets/72157632534411292/

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Limited Edition Signed 24"x36" archival color inkjet print of an image from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Series.

    OR

    TWO commissioned original full color image made by subjecting Fujifilm FP-100c instant color film to 15,000 volts of electricity. Dimensions: 3.25 x 4.25 in Made just for you!

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Signed original from the Type 55 at 15KV or Retinal Pigment Epithelium series. These 4"x5" formats are out of production and cannot be recreated. Choose from those images posted at: http://phillipstearns.wordpress.com/polaroid-type-55-at-15kv/ and http://phillipstearns.wordpress.com/retinal-pigment-epithelium-and-other-vision-technologies-real-or-otherwise-imagined/

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Limited Edition Signed 48"x60" archival color inkjet print of a new work produced by subjecting Fujifilm FP-100c to 15,000 volts of electricity.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    Limited Edition Signed 60"x80" archival color inkjet print of a new work produced by subjecting Fujifilm FP-100c to 15,000 volts of electricity. (limited to 3 prints per image)

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Funding period

- (30 days)