"In the Usual Manner" was made in conjunction with The Huntington's Civil War photography exhibition, "A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning, and Memory in the American Civil War," which ran from Oct. 13, 2012, through Jan. 14, 2013. It was awarded a Jurors' Citation at the 2013 Black Maria Film + Video Festival, in Jersey City, NJ, and was a finalist in the documentary category at the 2013 Humboldt Film Festival.
From the "Strange and Fearful Interest" website—
Making photographs in the field during the Civil War was a complicated and disaster-prone affair. It involved a portable darkroom, bulky cameras, large sheets of glass, volatile chemicals, and clean water, not to mention resourcefulness and nerves of steel. A productive day might yield 20 pictures. The demanding nature of the process makes it a captivating one to witness, especially in an era of instantaneous image-making.
In the evocative film shown here, Barret Oliver brings his darkroom and gear to the Huntington Library to produce hauntingly beautiful work ‘in the usual manner’ of the nineteenth-century photographer.
Lumen is Latin for light and is also a unit of how much light is generated by a source, the brightness perceived by the human eye. “Lumen” is a short work that plays simultaneously with light and our experience of it.
“Lumen” was shot in the light and optics gallery of the permanent exhibition “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World” in the Dibner Hall of the History of Science. The filaments that glow orange come from hand-blown bulbs from the early 20th century, and the other featured bulbs come from The Huntington’s historical lamp collection that ranges from the 1890s to the 1960s.
Videre, Latin for to see, is a video series that plays with the idea of re-seeing. The short works featured here are explorations of sights, sounds, and sensing at The Huntington.