Monochromatic Symptoms is a collaborative series that brings together Humberg’s photography and Joshua Bird’s poetry to examine themes such as space research and colonization.
The photographs were made by “misusing” old analogue photographic papers; normal black and white process was skipped, and rather papers were heavily overexposed and chemically treated. An old typewriter was used to add text. Instead of developing, the papers were scanned for further editing. Following a method vaguely reminiscent of scientific imaging practices, Humberg pushes both the photo papers and scans to dig up otherworldly tones, sometimes reprocessing same negatives or image data to emphasize varying details. For example, a landscape from one negative doesn’t only change colour but also transforms to a satellite image.
Eventually the series drifts further away from realism, mixing elements from space research with delusions, memories, and dreams. As if typed out of an intrinsic necessity, texts appear on the photographs taking up more and more space. Entwining cryptic scientific notes with personal observations, the texts become evidence of a human mind collapsing and dissociating itself from the vacuum of endless space.
The series comprises a little over 30 works, some of which are displayed as installations. A short video work is also included.
The work has been supported by the Finnish Arts Promotion Center, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, and Kone Foundation.