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Mr. Trona's experiments in redscale

"I'm a freelance writer, researcher, analyst, and truly a big kid armed with a camera.   My parents worked corporate and government contracts, and I moved constantly throughout my life.  I hold a record no one's broken.  I went to four middle schools in three states from coast to coast!  So I've seen a lot, and I hope that somehow informs my work positively.  At the moment, after being a caregiver for years, I'm going through the grief process, and am working on new projects and with new collaborators, in part I'm sure as catharsis."

See more of Mr. Trona's work on instagram at @mr.trona

ALTER/ANALOG:  Can you tell us more about redscale?

MT: Redscale, as you know, is shooting through the film backwards.  There's a looking glass charm to the idea.  As a writer, I appreciate different perspectives on the world, and found that shooting with redscale was very appealing to me!  

The range of colors obviously strikes one immediately.  But the quality of the light --and the subjects in the frame -- is sincerely amazing.  I love the way redscale images the sun, and the crepuscular rays are amazing !  Additionally, I get my best overall results shooting directly into the sun (affectionately known as G2V in my tags. it's spectral classification). 

I see the world in a certain way that makes the results of redscale so appealing to my sensibilities, and so forth, and it always means a lot to me when I connect with others who can get something out of that expression!


ALTER/ANALOG:  Is there a theme to this series of work?

MT: I'm infatuated with multiple exposure , and use random composition predominately in my work, which I have always looked at as more play than work!  My bio still lists me as a big kid armed with a camera!  

I started a project in 1994 called Corpse Photo-Poetics (CPP).  It was an abstraction of the exquisite corpse game, and I partially borrowed from The title of Allen Ginsberg's book of photography.  It was kind of film exchange before there was a film exchange -- at least in a very popular sense!  People thought I was nuts!  Jajajaja. The mother of my first collaborator is an art professor, and she famously asked me 'what's the point?'


I like plumbing the chaos to see what I come up with.  Bringing disparate worlds together in one image!  At times the results are mundane or disappointing.  But the overwhelming beauty that emerges often makes any of that worth going through. 

Having said that, I suppose if there is a theme, it has to do with violent collisions, cultivating accidents in the camera, putting myself into a stream of chaos to see what happens!  The occasional beauty and the oddity that emerges feels like it reveals something of my psychological landscape.


ALTER/ANALOG:  What inspires you?

MT: I'm inspired by my contemporary peers, feel so challenged by them, and blessed to be able to see the works of some amazing photographers out shooting now!  

But just like my CPP project, I'm influenced historically by dAdA and the surrealists.


I'm also very influenced by the mind and ideas of William S. Burroughs.  Yes, his personal life was a disaster at times, and he did monstrous things.  But his experiments with Brion Gysin, his cut-up trilogy -- and indeed the cut-up technique itself -- informed my aesthetic profoundly!


ALTER/ANALOG:  What got you interested in alternative processing? 

MT: Probably the film soup folks on Instagram, people like Beth Maciorowski, lavenderdiesel, moongrowl, et al.  I find the work mesmerizing, enchatting, so beautiful, and a departure point!  Being privy to the process was like seeing an entirely different world that was hidden from me before.

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