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J.M. Almqvist's wanderings though the unconscious

"J.M Almqvist explores the subconscious through film photography. In the dimensions between light and darkness this journey strives for unseen beauty within the layers of what our mind sees and what is lost."

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

ALTER/ANALOG:  What got you interested in photography?

J.A.: I've been expressing my view on the self and society through different mediums for a bit over 20 years now, mainly through music. Conceptual expression is something that has grown in me from the start where different mediums fulfill each other, giving the utmost and nearest "physical" truth of the vision intended. Photography really sparked my creativity about 5 years ago watching incredible souls experiment with still imagery.

My body and mind doesn’t work together for painting and such, what the mind sees the body translate through a conscious state with these mediums. Photography filled that space for me, letting the subconscious project through light and shadow. 

ALTER/ANALOG:  How did you discover film soups?

J.A.: At first I had no clue what I was watching seeing souped film, it was just some weird effects that my mind couldn’t apply on anything. Didn’t know much back then, that it was a whole movement. Since I don’t know much people experimenting with film photography I’ve been kind of secluded working on my own and breaking ground in a slow pace. Then maybe two years ago I stumbled upon Mia Bloombeckers work on Instagram (nationale7) and everything just made sense to me, don’t know what it was but it made me open my eyes. Her work is just great, and her person is greater. We’ve worked together a bit over the last year which has been a true pleasure and really evolving for me.

ALTER/ANALOG: What ingredients were used to create these soups?

J.A.: For this soup I used cheap Spanish 40% spirits, liquid from canned jalapeños and burning warm tap water. About 1/5 of spirits, 1/5 of jalapeño thing and 3/5 with water in a glass jar, then I soaked the film with the lid closed for 120 minutes and let it dry for approximately 2 weeks. First 3 days on a radiator wrapped in paper, the rest in room temperature.

The hardest part is temperature, in the end I blew about 10 good rolls of film completely blank in miscalculations over a couple of weeks before I got it all right. 

ALTER/ANALOG:  What sparked your interest in alternative processing?

J.A. It’s the uncertainty of not knowing what will come out in the end, until you’ve experimented and tried for yourself. That part is what really inspires me, whatever someone else has done before will not apply for me or anyone else. I can watch someone bend the rules of what is known, and pick up some things along the way and bend their rules in my sphere. But the most fun part is just to stress my own conscious being and break everything I think I know about something and do the complete opposite.

I don’t care much about copying technics and such, but when people share their experience and methods I do admire them as it will surely help people struggling to get started. That’s how I got started. I do pick up a few things now as well and try them on my technics, sometimes it works great and I try to give that back to those who show interest in some extent, like above. The alternative collective that I’ve encountered so far is generally quite nice in that way, sharing thoughts and technics to help each other grow, and encourage each other to keep on bending them minds.

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