Tim Theo Deceuninck, Letter to Mary S.
Wim de Temmerman
Tim Theo investigates how the actual light is transformed into a miniature size that falls onto the negative. He elaborates lens elements, focal points, early measuring instruments and camera mechanics to fully understand the photographic medium.
Since its invention in the 19th century, photography walked step by step with industrial growth and pollution. The camera was born into a world of smoke and smog. Since the photographic process is based on the use of silver, which needs toxic chemical development, Tim Theo got interested in non-toxic and non-iron based exposure and printing techniques. He started experimenting with different organic materials and methods of extracting light sensitive material from natural resources.
Shortly after the invention of photography Mary Somervile, a British scientist and mathematician, researched light sensitive qualities of plants. Despite her renewing results, she did not receive permission to publish her findings since women were not qualified as scientists. She wrote a letter to John Herschel, a colleague and pioneer in photography, who published this letter. The research into making photographic images from flowers was limited and ultimately abandoned since no commercial application was feasible. This forgotten knowledge was revived and served as a base for the experiments of Tim Theo.