Jerry Spagnoli
Daguerreotype Projects
American Dreaming
The Last Great Daguerreian Survey
Local Stories
Reviews and Interviews

I began working with daguerreotypes in 1995. I felt this medium would allow me to work on a project that would expand upon the theme of subjectivity as the root of objective experience. I departed from my previous method of isolating details (American Dreaming and Photomicrographs) and instead focused on broad, information-filled views. The uncanny ability of daguerreotypes to render things with a sense of real space and volume produces images with a feeling of palpable reality–the direct transmission of the "thing itself." This realistic presentation is belied, however, by the obvious, idiosyncratic limitations inherent in the technology. Slow exposures, small size, limited color sensitivities, temperamental chemical reactions and the difficulties in viewing the image on a sheet of polished silver all combine to present the viewer with the experience of having to negotiate the reality depicted. The world represented in the daguerreotype can be inviting in its straightforwardness, but it demands compromises from the viewer, a flexibility with regard to what is and is not the truth in a documentary photograph. As with my earlier projects, I photographed events in public spaces, seeking out situations I felt would have an historical interest for future viewers. I titled the series The Last Great Daguerreian Survey of the Twentieth Century.

© Jerry Spagnoli 2015. All