The 'Conversations with History' Ties Old Cans to Their Origins

By: Alexander Lam - Published: May 27, 2013 • References: davidemittadams and mymodernmet
Using corroded old cans as a medium, David Emitt Adams made a series of artworks called 'Conversations with History.' Adams combed through the desert and collected old cans with some older than 40 years. The cans were then printed with desert scenes in order to further emphasize and complement the can's origins.

Adams used an old technique called wet-plate collodion. The outdated technique imprints negative images on metal. In addition to the cans being the perfect medium for this technique, using wet-plate collodion further augments Adams's theme of conversing with history. Every can has its own story to tell and the imprints are just symbols of that. Adams's intention behind the project was to honor the past and to create "an artifact and an image that ties it to its location."