Paris, 8 Cyanotypes: The Summer before the Pandemic


The Cyanotype Machine


The Cyanotype process is as old as photography itself, discovered in 1842 by the English scientist Sir John Herschel. The first book of photographic illustrations, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, appeared shortly afterward in October 1843, created by the British botanist Anna Atkins. The photographs for Paris, 8 Cyanotypes were taken in the summer of 2019 in various locations in Paris. These locations have not changed much since the 19th century when perhaps similar photographs could have been taken.

The Cyanotype Machine pays homage to the pioneering work of British botanist Anna Atkins, using it as a reference point for a contemporary exploration of the image-making experience. The Cyanotype Machine combines levers and switches, water and light to create a personal and unrepeatable ephemeral image. Nothing is stored, the image fading away like a memory.

About the artist

Ron Yakir is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU. His research focuses on the notion of physicalization–the introduction of proprioceptive and physical-like elements into the experience of digital art. The research brings together Ron’s experience as an artist working in both analog and digital photography, installation, and new media art with his background in technology development and user experience design.