J.M. Almqvist destroys to create anew


"As an extent to the being of a negative I like to see my work as a living thing, and with all that involves life I want to see how my creations react to things around us. We deliberately put stuff in, on and around our bodies that in a given span of time will affect us. My work right now is focused on creating something with new life and ultimately face death, or destroy what is precious to give new life to reincarnate in the material world. Sometimes I let them freeze, sometimes I bury them, but mostly I drown or turn them inside out to bring forth the negative's inner self."


See more of J.M.'s work on instagram at @haexes









ALTER/ANALOG: Why film over digital?


JA: The short version is that film demands dedication and attention to fulfill your visions, trial and error with a slow curve upwards toward divine rewards and achievement.


Then there's the way film registers light, and the uncertain outcome you constantly work with in alternative photography. There's lucky shots here and there but with a plan and a vision you can control certain aspects in the picture, and you will not know until development if your plan worked and by then the moment might be lost forever as time move constantly in a different direction.

I don't think it's fair to compare the mediums. Yes, you create still and motion pictures with both but that is about it. Digital is shortcuts from my point of view, I've worked and still work in some projects with digital since I cannot recreate those with film, yet. But that changes the more I experiment, it just takes dedication.


But in the end I believe that a great piece of art still is great no matter what medium you use, it just feels more genuine on film as you cannot download a template pack from an artist you like and apply it on your pictures. That whole "fast lane" lifestyle with immediate acknowledgement just doesn't appeal to me and gets quite boring in an instant.


ALTER/ANALOG: What got you interested in alternative photographic methods?


JA: I've always been interested in the alternative side to pretty much all things. It's a state to get perspective of what is, what is not and what might be. Approaching alternative photography, I guess just came by itself as I ventured through the expressions of what a picture might be.


If I must name one thing that really made me see thing differently and loose myself to alternative photography, then it was this exhibition "How to unlock a portal" with Jacob Felländer where he showcased these monumental works of his together with a VR world built around them. To see and feel that and be able to step into that world of his left a huge mark in my creative being. If you get the possibility to attend to one of his exhibitions you should not miss it.


ALTER/ANALOG: What inspires you?


JA: Mostly I'm inspired by people, or human behaviour to be more precise. I find a lot of energy and motivation to keep on struggling through dark times both in the self and in the society/world just by watching others and reflect around their choices. As a conscious choice I rarely introduce people in my work as I find it hard to bring the soul out of its vessel. Consciousness seem to make people reflect a facade they believe others anticipate rather then bring forth their inner being, and I find that most lament.


I really try not to look at others work on an expressional plane but rather technical to keep my expression clear, but everything you see influence you in some way and it's a struggle to keep looking inwards instead of out.

Jarrett Edmunds and Beth Maciorowski(which both you futured here) together with Clara Diebler are artists that I found more recently who are most inspiring in their dedication and approach to alternative photography, I appreciate their art and how they seem to loose themselves in their work. For me they have found a language which is theirs only, that stands out and is admirable. Their work and techniques from a spectator stand, amongst other influence, has inspired me to venture further into the unknown.


ALTER/ANALOG:  What are you working on next?


JA: Currently I'm working on techniques to colour B&W negatives with chemicals that we have around us in our everyday life. It's a project to make something beautiful out of the ugly industry pushed on us. There's also a few long-term projects that I have been planning that will start these coming days, were nature will be doing its thing through the winter that is coming.


But for a restless mind there's much to explore and there's new projects that evolve almost every day. Some might see the light in a near future, and some will dwell for another day.

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