Impossible Project PX680 Constructions

It has now been 31 years since I last worked on my SX-70 Constructions. The advent of Time Zero in 1979 put an end to the kind of emulsion stripping and emulsion transfers that I could accomplish with the “Q” film or what TZ’s predecessor was known inside Polaroid. I returned to using TZ in the early 2000’s to do a splitting technique, where I split open the TZ film moments after it left the camera (or Daylab SX-70 base, as was more often the case). This split caused some very interesting textures that when scanned and enlarged yielded some interesting effects. I had assumed that I could never replicate the techniques I used with the Polaroid “Q” film. Until now. These are the results of some experiments this weekend to see if PX680 could be deconstructed and reconstructed a la the “Q” film. I carefully cut off the negatives from several pieces of film that had been processed at least 5 days ago. The negative stripped easily, leaving the positive with its titanium dioxide backing. I then washed them under warm water. With TZ film the dyes would remain solidly adhered to the mordant layer of the transparent positive. Not so with PX680. The dyes quickly softened and could be moved around. I left two images (the two nudes) in a half distorted state to dry. With the image of the seated figure I back-painted the entire image with white acrylic paint. With the standing figure, I partially painted her with white and then collaged a landscape element from behind using gel medium. For the middle image I soaked the positive image until the dyes floated freely from the polyester sheet. I transferred it to watercolor paper, cut away portions I did not want, and glued the dyes back into their original frame and back-painted it also with white. I rushed the drying with a hair dryer so I could finish these in one session. It would be much better to be patient and let everything air dry, which I will do going forward. Another landscape was collaged behind the statue image. These are the first experiments to prove to myself that PX680 is worth the effort and the answer is an unequivocal YES!

Impossilbe Project PX680 Color Shade Construction