ANNA ATKINS

Anna Atkins

2016

10 Cyanotypes (8×10 inches each)

Anna Atkins is recognized as the first woman photographer for her work Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. It was also the first time that the cyanotype technique was used for scientific illustration purposes.

For this project, Anna Atkins work has been reproduced using the virtual reality platform Second Life.  After creating an avatar with her name, I explored Second Life´s oceans collecting images of its corals, anemones and seaweed. These images were later reproduced as cyanotypes.

The decision of connecting Atkins work and Second Life comes from the fact that both are an important part of the evolution in our relationship with image making. However, both have been relegated as historical references that are barely explored for actual purposes.  It is not random that images that were created in different centuries can share this aura of forgetfulness. Both  of them were part of revolutionary moments in the history of image making where things changed too quickly, leaving them as historical curiosities too soon. However, this situation has left Atkins and Second Life images open for new meanings, and the merging of both could be seen as a way of waking up the spirits of the past to talk about the present again.