Cibachrome Portraits

When Mindy was at MIT studying architecture, Cibachrome photography was in its infancy. It was a process in which you would put exposed paper into a dark barrel to develop a photographic image. At Mindy’s disposal there was a large, old-fashioned piece of discarded equipment that had been used to produce magazine photos; a machine that was resurrected by her inventive teacher Ron MacNeil. The equipment was about fifteen feet long and weighed about three tons. On this apparatus, Mindy set up a backdrop (using a checkerboard and Scientific American cover) and posed her friends on the machine, asking them to move to a timer in a direction she chose. Then, she played with the images by stopping parts of them in the negative, over bleaching other parts, scratching on the photo paper surfaces, and in one case, introducing a collage. Her teacher praised her for the images and effort (he is nice and positive guy), but advised her that she was not being very scientific about it, since she could not easily replicate the results. Still, Mindy produced five one-of-a-kind pieces.