Kurtis Adamson utilises discarded photographic negatives from the early 1900’s to address the relationship between analogue and digital media and the changing perceptions around photographic archives.
Adamson’s upcoming solo exhibition ‘Future archive past’ examines the hauntological character of analogue - to - digital archives, focusing specifically on the appropriation of unidentified glass plate negatives from the photographic archive of Angus McNeil, a professional photographer in Adamson's childhood town of Kempsey, NSW between 1897-1945.
While working as a digital restorer for the McNeil collection, Kurt Adamson was struck by the patina of McNeil’s original negatives and how their “aura” appeared to be erased, or eroded, when converting them into digital images. This spoke to Adamson’s interested in the act of preservation also being an act of erasure or destruction, and how his art practice can make visible such erasures.
Through employing and developing the notions of ‘disembodiment’ and ‘re-storying’, ‘Future archive past’ alludes to the social spectral concerns of digital data collection and identification, whilst also encouraging reflection and contemplation of the digital age we live in as we increasingly create a digital legacy for future generations.