The Chicago Project – Peter Hoffman

Many photographers will go to great lengths to protect their negatives. They buy protective sleeves and fire-proof lock boxes to protect their work. For his series, Fox River Derivatives, Chicago Project artist Peter Hoffman does the exact opposite, he intentionally catches his negatives on fire.

Untitled #3 , 2010

Peter Hoffman first soaks his negatives in oil and then he catches them on fire. What remains of the negatives (seen below) are then scanned and printed.
Peter Hoffman's negatives for Fox River Derivatives series

Peter explains, “Fox River Derivatives is a series that questions our relationship with our natural resources. Using the theme “Water and Oil”, with consideration to the large BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the images are part of a larger experiment that utilizes water and fossil fuels in the actual image-making process, letting these substances become an important variable in the visual representation. Photographs are made along the Fox River which passes through both untouched rural areas and consumer-oriented suburban sprawl.”

You can see Peter’s work as part of The Chicago Project V exhibition through August 30, 2013. You can also hear him discuss the series as part of CEG’s Artist Talks series here.

The Chicago Project V: Selections from Our Online Gallery
July 12 – August 30, 2013