In October of 2014, Scott Massey attended a project-oriented artist residency at PRIM (Productions Réalisations Indépendantes de Montréal) to complete the editing of a new film/video work entitled Light Adjustments (Centre of the Universe). A durational structuralist landscape work captured over the course of one twenty-four-hour cycle incorporating various filters, films, and imaging technology to manipulate and expand the visible spectrum and passage of time through a slowly widening field of perspective, the film premiered at Dazibao, Montreal, this past winter.
In preparation for the project, the artist set out to make studies based on the themes and techniques he employed to create the film. These are the Spectrum Study works.
Spectrum Studies is a series of landscape photographs created entirely “in camera,” using a Hasselblad and various image-adjusting apparatus. Presented through an infographic pie chart framework, the images contain visual clues about the complexity of their creation. As each piece of the pie chart represents an element or moment within the image frame, the entire image presents a photographic exploration of one particular spectrum. The pie shapes are created by custom laser-cut stainless steel darkslides the artist had fabricated specifically for this project. These darkslides allow multiple but discrete exposures on a single piece of film, registering the passage of time in a single “frame.” This series continues Massey’s investigation of the malleability of analogue photography, rooted in theories of vision, space, and time.
The four areas of exploration are visible, greyscale, day-night, and ultra-infra. Visible separates the colour channels of white light (rainbow colours); greyscale separates the sections based on the Ansel Adams Zone System; day-night separates the sections based on the cycle of a passing day; and ultra-infra captures light beyond the visible spectrum.