The project mudgrams collaborates directly with soil matter and goes away from an optical relationship with the world. Instead it generates its image using its own intelligence and material body, out of the control of the maker. In intra-action Segers reworlds the way we can imagine climate pollutions with collaborative and generative photographic processes. The mudgrams all give different colors and patterns, which illustrates their individual power of agency and visualizes compositional differences. As the climate crisis, pollution is an abstract threat, staying on an invisible level. In order to build new kinship we need to find as well another imaginary system that moves away from a representational methodology.

These images are produced with soil samples from specific actively and historically exploited and polluted zones. The soil samples were mixed together with sodium carbonate and vitimine c. Presuming these soils consist of phenol acid, the combination of these 3 matters together makes a photographic developer (refr. Caffenol/Phytograms). This developer mud was poured on top of 4x5” monochrome silver halide film, a lumen mud print was exposed and grown and developed at the same time. The mud leave their traces onto the film while constructing new imagined worlds using their elemental composition, agency and material bodies.
This project is ongoing.

Mudgram, Dries Segers in collaboration with polluted soils, 2023, mudgram (on Ilford HPS 100 / Kodak TMAX100 / Fuji Provia 100F), different sizes

Locations of different soils are: Canal zone, Amsterdam; 3M, Zwijndrecht; ASB Recycling, Genk; INEOS, Antwerp; Gravel pit, Incheville and Bouvaincourt; Arcelor Group, Düsseldorf; Mine field, Waterschei; Beton factory, Hoboken; Brick factories, Niel; Sibelco, Quartz exploitation, Mol-Rauw; Car factory Ford, Köln