Happy Accident_Summer

'Happy Accident' is an ongoing series of personal projects celebrating chance in creativity. 

Generously funded by Rafa Montilla and my production company at the time, Agosto (August), HA#1 explores the random marrying of text and image via analogue 35mm photography. I invited strategic poet and inspired friend Jorge Virgos to help write a myriad of "summer" words and phrases together - In Spanish and English. Run out on Lith Film, the texts were individually pre exposed frame by frame over a light box on 35mm film, rolled-back, then handed out to friends, family and collaborators who double exposed their summer photos 'over' the texts. 

The selection of words on each frame / roll was different each time, and invited photographers had no clear indication of what we were doing exactly , knowing simply it was an experiment. With just these two simple variables of random text and image, 1100 images were produced. Some of the results were utterly non-sensical in the traditional sense, as one would expect with chance variables. Other combinations are so poignant its hard to believe they are simply the result of chance, both in terms of visual design and as an exploration of written language's power to contextualize the reading of an image. 

As both a photographic and experimental project, when it came time to edit the results it became clear the traditional process of editing seemed to return us to the pyramid shaped, reductionist process the project seeks to question. In a project about celebrating accidents, what is a success.? it was quandary that raised unexpected questions about format and how to best honor the results. The project was put on pause, i started my family and time passed. In a crushing turn of events, during the production companies relocation, the original negatives dissapeared and have never been found. 

Having been on a shelf for years (and on one level getting over the heartbreak), I am now exploring an interactive / and projection format using the original lab scans.A HUGE thanks to Rafa, my 'partner in crime' Jorge, Sergi Roda, the Agosto crew, and all the amazing people who dedicated their time and pictures to the project..Un Saludo.

Shot on Kodak Portra VC160

Agosto / Jorge Virgos