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Photographer creates chemically-treated 35mm ‘Flim’ that exposes unique art

Film photographers (we know you’re still out there), have you ever accidentally spilled chemical substances on your rolls? Have you ever done it on purpose? Photographer Matthew Cetta sure has. In fact, he’s created an entire series of images using damaged rolls of film, and he’s encouraging others to do the same. 

Cetta’s Photogenic Alchemy collection, in which the artist utilized chemically-treated film to create some truly psychedelic images, has garnered a lot of attention in the photo world. Cetta uses various chemicals such as ammonia, lemon juice, Drano, iodine, absinthe, and many others in his work, and he looks to share this idea with others with his Kickstarter campaign called Flim. (That isn’t a typo, by the way.) 

According to Cetta, film photography is a dying medium, and he hopes to revive it with Flim: modified film that can be used in any 35mm camera, letting interested parties “shoot pictures as precious as Polaroids, but even crazier.” The effects you’ll get using Flim can’t really be duplicated, so each image is unique unto itself.

“We try so hard to mimic film, spending countless hours in Photoshop and lots of dollars in apps, but it never comes out right,” Cetta wrote on Flim’s Kickstarter page. “With digital, every preset, every filter is the same. Film is not limited to bits.”

Cetta, a graduate of New York City’s School of Visual Arts, has set a Kickstarter goal of $10,000, a modest amount compared to other photo-related products on the site looking for crowdfunding. Modesty is nice, but it would also be nice to know precisely what the final product will look like, or how it will be marketed; as of right now, Flim backers can look forward to getting prints of various “Flimages,” their own rolls of Flim, and a virtual hug from Cetta himself (a real-life hug will require a bigger pledge).  

Flim doesn’t seem like too crazy of an idea, though that’s pretty much how Cetta describes it. There’s sure to be people interested in this idea though, since this is an untapped market…or perhaps just a non-existent one. In either case, fans of do-it-yourself and film photography might take this idea and run with it, but you’ll need to invest at least $50 to get a Flim roll to call your own.

With 25 days left (as of this writing), he’s only achieved $750, so either there’s no interest in film, it is indeed too crazy, or just too expensive. Then again. nobody ever said art is cheap.

Check out Flim for yourself in the short video below.

(Via PopPhoto)

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Chase Melvin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chase Melvin is a writer and native New Yorker. He graduated from LIU Brooklyn where he spent 3 years as the News and Photo…
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