We’ve just started a project on the opening up of data into the public domain. Sounds kind of geeky, but as an example of what that means, take a look (if you haven't been before) at The Public Domain Review.
This is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online. It's a quite amazing collection of stuff. If you haven't seen it before, best to set aside the rest of the day...
We were particularly struck by this collection of decayed daguerreotypes: portraits made ‘by the model posing (often with head fixed in place with a clamp to keep it still the few minutes required) before an exposed light-sensitive silvered copper plate, which was then developed by mercury fumes and fixed with salts. This fixing however was far from permanent – like the people they captured the images too were subject to change and decay'.
A sort of bizarre mixture of those pop-art/sixties ‘cancellation’ photographs and some Rauschenberg collages. Great stuff.
The daguerreotypes here are from the studio of Matthew Brady, one of the most celebrated 19th century American photographers.
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