In his "Impure Photography" series, Brandon Seidler merges his interest in environmental issues and passion for fine art by shining a light on the impact of the chemicals he uses for alternative post-processing.
Fascinated by the loud colors and strange patterns of destruction the chemicals produced, Seidler has spent several years experimenting with harsh chemicals in his photography. However, his work gained a new focus after he heard about a chemical spill that occurred near his college in northern New Jersey. The chemical that was unleashed, methyl methacrylate, was one of the same ones that he used in his alternative processing work. The coincidence made him think about the daily applications of these kinds of chemicals and the consequences of such a spill.
"Some, if not most, of the pollutants can be removed," Seidler writes, "but what
happens to the initial amount absorbed into the ground or by the plants
or animals that are there at the spill site?"
This speculation is what inspired Seidler to photograph the land affected by the spill and then alter the film using the offending chemical.
"In my work, I'm not trying to comment on the cleaning practices of these sites," Seidler explains. "I'm just interested in pointing out how harmful some of these chemical pollutants can truly be."
The resulting work, in all its corrosive glory, is both beautiful and haunting.
Seidler plans to publish the series in a photobook — the production of which is being funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $2,816 of the original $2,500 goal.
"The purpose of the book is to show off my work while making people think twice about some of the chemicals we are introducing into the environment," Seidler writes. "If these are the effects the chemicals have on film, what are the effects it will have on nature?"