Time and Matter Photography

My artwork is about extending and merging photography into new mediums.

Over thirty years ago I started developing what I now call Time and Matter Photography, by making pictures entirely of nearly any material or matter. If the actual matter from the subject being photographed is used to create the picture, it extends photography to a new dimension. In 1991 I photographed a man named Bob who was dying of AIDS. Bob arranged to permit me, upon his death, to use some of his ashes so I could make his ash memorial pictures. I made his photo memorial on glass plates set between lit candles. Initially, I exhibited the Bob ash picture at various gay and lesbian centers; several art curators expressed concern at the time that the topic and materials used were highly controversial. A lot has changed in recent decades regarding societies attitudes about AIDS and about cremation. A few years ago I entered the photo memorial picture of Bob at the Los Angeles County Fair and it won first place for experimental photography.

Unlike conventional photography using silver halide or inkjet, my art form creates a historical collectible artifact. Also, unlike any other forms of photography, Time and Matter pictures can limit an edition of only one or two originals, especially when small quantities of material are available, like when an individual persons hair, ashes, or rare or historical materials are used to make the picture. All other conventional or digital pictures have no material limitations for the amount of prints that can be made.

Photography makes an image from light reflecting off materials. Time and Matter Photography can capture the image and the material together as one, and since everything that exists is material or matter, it makes sense that materials are important! For example: some people are willing to pay a lot of money for the glove of Michael Jackson, or the gown of a movie star, but how important would a picture be if a teaspoon of John Lennon’s ashes was turned into his memorial picture, or if some of Paul McCartney’s hair was turned into his picture, or if a picture of Neil Armstrong was made of moon rock, or if a picture of the Hindenburg was made from a scrap of fabric from the Hindenburg. Of course not all materials are easy to obtain, but someone out there knows how to obtain even rare materials because they know the right person. I can also create orginal artwork that is semi photographic that creates a single piece of art like a painting.

It has only been during the last century that photography began being accepted as fine art, and only within the last fifty years that photography has become a collectible art form. Sometimes it takes time for people to accept new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Time and Matter Photography creates more than a mere image; it produces an artifact that becomes a piece of history. It also creates one of a kind artwork. It allows for experimentation in other fields like making pictures with enameling, glass and ceramic decorating, leafing metals, or perhaps even scientific or criminal photography documentation. Because experimenting is science and art, the only requirement for experimenting or making fine art is effort and curiosity. I hope you can now understand why I am so passionate about Time and Matter Photography.

I hope to share my information and years of research once I find a company or benefactor who will work with me, and or sponsor the International EPIC where I would like to play an active role.

I also welcome the opportunity to work on commissioned or joint projects with well-established glass artists.

Copyright © 2012 Bill Fink