The Sustainable Darkroom: Recycle / Remove / Repurpose / Rework micro-residencies

Deadline: 21/01/2020  |  Published: 22/12/2019  |  Venue: Guest Projects, London, E8 5QL  |  City: London  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Hannah Fletcher

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London Alternative Photography Collective (LAPC) Sustainable Darkroom is an artist run research, training and mutual learning programme, to equip cultural practitioners with new skills and knowledge to develop an environmentally friendly and sustainable photographic darkroom practice.

We have been selected by Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects to curate and deliver a month long Sustainable Darkroom public programme. During this time, we want to work with 24 creative practitioners from around the UK, exploring four key topics over four weeks: Recycling, Removing, Repurposing and Reworking. For each theme we are choosing 6 artists for a 1 week micro-residency. The results of which will be presented in the form of 8 public workshops and a 1 day symposium.

Details of the micro-residencies listed bellow:


1st - 5th April

Led by artist Diego Valente, the participants selected will be looking at materials generated by the photographic darkroom, exploring new and pre-existing avenues for the ethical disposal of waste. As a group, we will also be considering the life and use of materials beyond the darkroom and their cross-pollination into other industries.

Considering how our actions inform the way we connect and our material impact. Our investigations will begin with resin coated paper, films, film canisters, obsolete cameras, silver from chemicals, and water from washing.


6th - 12th April

Led by artist Melanie King, the participants selected will research removing and reducing toxicity from analogue photographic practices. As a group, we will consider the usage of toxic materials and their relationship with the ability to develop and fix and image. Weighing up and considering the impact of ‘natural’ vs. ‘artificial’ chemicals, we will experiment with ingredients including walnut pigment, coffee, herbs, cola and algae’s.  Our aim will be to remove harmful chemicals or at minimum reduce them.


13th - 19th April

Led by artist Almudena Romero, the participants selected will consider how pre-existing materials, resources and beings can be adapted and utilised in photographic processes. As a group, we will be using items salvaged from bins to make cameras and photographic devices and extracting plant pigments for light sensitive photographic emulsions. We will consider the photographic potential of all substances, materials, forms, organisms and bodies. Reconsidering what constitutes a device, we will investigate the forms through which a visual image can be recorded. 


20th - 26th April

Led by artist Hannah Fletcher, the participants selected will unpick the systems that hold together the photographic darkroom and consider how they are negatively or positively impacting the wider ecosystem. As a group, we will also consider ‘codes of good practice’ and why these are not always necessary to follow or enforce. Raising questions and issues surrounding the importance of archive-ability, we will look to revise and alter current systems, considering circular economies and systems thinking approaches. We will be collaborating with Phytology to look at water and chemical disposal, attempting to create a system incorporating hyperaccumilating plants and water systems in the bathroom.

If you would like to contribute to and participate in one of the micro-residencies, please apply below and let us know which week specifically you are interested in.


Contact the curator
When is the deadline?
21st January 2020
How much does it cost?
Is there an exhibition?
The focus of the residency is on research, development, training and mutual learning. We do not intend to produce an exhibition as an outcome of the research, however we are open to the possibility.
Does the location have disabled access?
Do I need to be present?
Yes, you should be available to commit to the duration of the micro-residency that you are applying to.

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