Both Swiss and San Francisco Bay Area native, Tristan Zand is an experimental photographer attempting to answer everyday-reality's call to become Human stories.
Hungry to understand photographic memories through still and moving images, he shares his own views of shapes and colors by interacting with people, spaces, objects, sounds using analog and digital receptacles as well as software code to go beyond.
Previous works include research on Internet-based collaborative photography, dual-angle photography ( 'Dualphotography' ), and on the nature of the digital photographic medium ( 'the Bootymachine', 'Matière Numérique', Vica Camera and Camare Multi Lens Camera, ... ).
tristan zand http://zand.net
A/A: What attracted you to film?
TZ: I started photography as a kid using film. At the time, it felt like a weird physical light trap letting me capture moments I shouldn't have been able to otherwise. I remember that magic. I love needing to protect the film from environmental elements, selecting what instants to capture on the limited substrate at hand. Waiting hours, days or even weeks to finally chemically revive these frozen moments make for an almost mystical experience I wouldn't get otherwise. Film is generous. When I mess up and end with blank or overly-burnt shots, I still cherish the experience. I like that it is a sensible receptacle that transforms into a passively reflecting/filtering prism to incoming light. It is the opposite of the light-emitting screens we generally use for digital photography.
A/A: Do you find your work has a theme?
TZ: My work is about memories and how they reshape material reality. Photography lets me freeze moments in time: past, present, or future. The photograph serves as an explicit lasting memory of appealing moments, feelings, or interactions. I like to build implicit stories and immersive spaces from these and then share. I also work on the fundamentals of digital-matter's substrate, trying to go beyond the pixels' inherent geometrical characteristics, building images on data complexity and manipulation to blur the boundaries it may otherwise have when comparing it to film.
A/A: How have you found your work changing and evolving over time?
TZ: As I'm a technological experimentalist, I feed on technical trends. While my themes are usually quite classical, and while I still use film types similar to my early days, modern emulsions and processes have extensively transformed my works. I never really segregated film from digital. I tend to work with both in a similar spirit. My production, therefore, evolved to software development and hybrid image experimentation: sensors as emulsions, emulsions as sensors, the intricateness increasingly helping me focus on a different type of story-telling.
A/A: What's next for you?
TZ: In the future, I'd love to share more of that joy of photography, not only by my image production but also by sharing the knowledge of the process through tools and texts. I'm working on various software projects to capture pictures, including my digital-hybrid-matter research and artificial intelligence mutant processes. These will be an essential part of my future works. But most crucially, I hope to secure more time for it.