*Latent Imaging and Imagining* is part of an autoethnographic artistic research study to explore the concept of chrononormativity through an inverted perspective of nonconforming and how to negotiate a careful and queer mode of accessing childhood memories.
The photo series is based on a selection of personal childhood photos of the artist. These photos have been manipulated in a process of selectively re-imagining male-coded parts in the artist's appearance within the images using a commonly available out-painting text-to-image AI tool. A few images have only been using the prompt "girl", others needed more specific prompts, such as "a girl with brown hair holding a bunny", etc. The resulting generated latent variations are printed on Polaroid film.
This work is rooted in an instance of trans(-feminine) temporality, in which transness and processes of transitioning have enabled and positioned the artist outside a chrononormative biography and life schedule, where from a normative viewpoint childhood, adolescence and adulthood stand in temporally discontinuous relation towards each other: A friction that enables one to explore modes of becoming an embodiment of alternative spatiality and temporality, not determined by the constraints and implications of cis-heteronormativity and the gender binary. Besides the resulting joy, euphoria and pleasure though, this friction also causes certain stresses and dysphoria, such as the felt “loss” or inability of having been experiencing girlhood. Latent Imaging and Imagining as a methodology therefore attempts to care for this situation by layering generated imaginative imagery as latent versions of the artist's childhood photos and memories, thus balancing and negotiating degrees of maintenance, disruption and repair.
Latency in the context of this work references not only a delay, but also the “virtual”, in the meaning of existing or “present but needing particular conditions to become active, obvious, or completely developed” (Cambridge Dictionary). A latent imaging and imagining therefore describes the practice of visualizing an imaginary that finds itself in the realm of the virtual and contingent – possible to become factual, but not (yet) unfolded.