A dedication to the first non-fixed photography by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from 1816
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce attached a sheet of silver nitrate-coated paper on the back of a camera obscura and placed it on the window of his office. He named this experiment Retina. After several days of exposure, he opened the camera and pulled the sheet of paper out. At places with higher light incidence the silver nitrate became darker. The result was a negative photograph. To his disappointment, he was forced to watch how the negative disappeared when he opened the camera. Because of the ongoing exposure the silver nitrate became darker and darker. His frustration had to be enormous. He held the first photography of the world in his hands and found no way to fix it. The time became an element for him, characterized by slowness and transience.
The project -the 7th Day- is dedicated to Niépce’s first non-fixed photography. Equipped with a pinhole camera, the participants of the project take their time to create something that is subject to chance. On the seventh day of the exposure, a magical moment arises when the camera is opened, which Niépce must have felt in May 1816. One holds a photograph in one’s hands, in which the unmoving is clearly visible and the moving is only briefly and indistinctly recognizable. In contrast to Niépce, however, today we have the possibility to fix the negatives with the help of modern technology. You send it to us, we scan it and convert it to positive. During scanning, the negative is destroyed by the continuous light bar, but it is digitized and stored. Afterwards, the images are loaded to the archive. Since 2012, this has included several thousand images of participants from all over the world. Each participant slips into the role of an author and uses his picture to create the history of the project.
We are looking forward to any further author of the project!