Rubylith and Kodalith film was widely used by artists, designers and printers to designate space for information and imagery during many printing processes. The light-safe film, often referred to as a mask, was positioned on a plate to block or frame areas for images to be placed during reproduction printing.
In 2015, I was given a collection of found Rubylith and Kodalith masks. Confused by the rigidness and formal properties of the masks, I interpreted them as images, separated from an original purpose and absent of any former context.
I enlarged the masks in physical size and began analyzing them as formal boundaries or placeholders for space. Boundaries exist in many ways and function as points of access. Both moral and visual, a boundary has the ability to restrict and isolate, as well as protect and preserve. In regards to printing, redaction and how information is organized; I see these works as an attempt to question common interpretations of a boundary.
In 2015 I visited the workspace where raster image processing software is developed and perfected. Designed to achieve a perfectly color corrected print, the software eliminates the need to proof a photograph during the printing process. I was granted access to explore the studio, open doors, and ask questions. The studio was organized and colorless. Expecting to document a vibrant laboratory, I searched for signals and areas within the studio that represent the complicated and mysterious characteristics of photographic production.
© Ben Schonberger 2013 - 2018