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Traditional Amsterdam coffeehouses
In 2015 I photographed the last standing traditional coffeehouses of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. These spots used to be inseparable with the lifestyle of the city. But a new generation of coffee drinkers prefers hip boutiques and exotic coffee drinks. Many coffeehouses had to close their doors in the past years, only eleven where left in 2015.
The photographs are shot on film and printed in a traditional darkroom. Instead of using regular photo development, I created a unique technique using coffee from the actual coffeehouses to develop the images. The coffee stained the paper and gave the photographs a unique character.
Wait... you used coffee to print the photos?
Yes, I used coffee from the actual places, so the coffee DNA of each place is printed onto the paper.
How does this work?
I found a recipe through a MIT study about alternative conventional photo developing methods. You can make developer by mixing coffee, vitamin-C and washing soda. It's all about acidity. I heard you can also do it with wine. The project was made possible thanks you crowdfunding and generous support from the Amsterdam Fund for the Art.
In 2019 I presented the work at Photoville in Brooklyn New York with support from Dutch Culture USA (Dutch ministry of foreign affairs).