The composite images on this page are the
result of in-camera random double exposure techniques that
I began experimenting with in 1968. My camera was a Nikon FTN,
which was incapable of a back-wind double exposure. I had read
an article in “Popular
Photography” which described a method by which to do them.
It involved loading the film and marking its first position with
a grease pencil against the take-up sprocket tooth, exposing
the entire roll, and then rewinding the roll, re-registering
the film, and re-exposing the whole roll, thus completing the
double exposure of each frame.
The difficulty was that one never knew which image would fall
upon the other, or precisely how they would be aligned. I took
this as an asset, not a liability. I wanted to interject that
apparent randomness into the process. I had been studying the
Jungian concept of synchronicity, the possibility of interconnectedness
between apparently random events, and wanted to see if they could
be reflected in an artform, photography, uniquely capable of
overlaying unrelated incidents in time, in imagery. The black
and white prints are from the first roll of film from those sessions.
I must say I was surprised and gratified by these sometimes disturbing,
sometimes lyrical photographs. The left most four images in the
top row are from the last of that series, shot in Colorado in
The far right image in the top row, a double exposure, and the
entire bottom row of images are color infrared photographs shot
between 1968 and 1970. This superimposition work and my experiments
with false color naturally lead to the video synthetic imagery
I began to pursue with Nam June Paik at Cal Arts in 1970.