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Zeno Gill's "Of a Feather"

Zeno Gill is a longtime contributor to ALTER/ANALOG. Besides running and, he finds the time to shoot weekly.

Photographer: Zeno Gill —;

Model: Alyssa Gilpin —

A/A: What was your process to create these images?

ZG: Because of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to collaborate with models as often as I’d like, so I recently has the idea of doing film shoots remotely by photographing my computer monitor while on a Skype call with a model. In addition to being safe, it also allows me to collaborate with models hundreds or thousands of miles away. The downside is that the quality of the onscreen image can be low. I took that downside as an excuse to destroy the film negatives. For these images, I did a combination of things to different segments of the processed film roll. I started by hanging the negatives outside and splashing a little bleach and food dye onto parts of them. I also used a little spray paint in hopes of getting some speckles. Then I cut the negatives into 6-frame segments. One segment I soaked in a glass of water with partially dissolved chewable vitamin C tablets. One segment I soaked in a glass with Emergen-C (pink lemonade flavor). The remaining segments I splattered with vinegar and salt, then baked in the toaster over. They curled, of course, so I ironed them flat as best I could, but put advertisements between the iron and the negatives, hoping that some of the ink would transfer onto the negatives. I also used a little food dye during the ironing process.

A/A: What attracts you to alternative processes?

ZG: I like randomness, glitchiness, and unpredictability.

A/A: There is such a feeling of energy in all of your work. Is that intentional?

ZG:It’s not intentional, but I consider that a wonderful compliment, so thank you!

A/A: What are you working on next?

ZG: I hope to destroy some more film soon! I have a few more experiments to try. Now that it’s warming outside, I hope to shoot more with live models again, as safely as possible till we get this virus under control.

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