(Unusual?) Question Regarding Film Negatives

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Markus712, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Markus712

    Markus712 TPF Noob!

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    I'm putting together a video installation involving B&W film negatives. My plan is to melt, dissolve, distort these negatives in some way. I have some experience in regards to processing and developing, but I can't seem to think of a chemical that would work best.

    So I am hoping someone will be able to help me! Basically, I don't know if I best method of approach would be heat (either using a hair dryer or some form of fire) or if there is some chemical that I could simply drop onto the negatives.

    If anyone could offer any suggestions I would be appreciative. I realize this is an unusual question but my final undergraduate project depends on it! =)

    Thanks!
    :D
     
  2. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    heat would work, something like a lighter would melt the film

    The rest i am guessing. Im a chemist so its probably a good guess, but i dont know for sure

    Acetone would probably melt the plastic base. I've accidently melted a calculator with acetone before....
    you can get Acetone in nail polish remover though its not very concentrated and would probably take alot of soaking

    If you can get DCM, that might also melt the film base. However DCM (Dichloromethane) is cancerous and not publically available. I work with it alot in my job but i have proper protection. If your at a university, the chemistry department would have tons of it. IF you explained what you were doing im sure you could find someone who could help you use this stuff in a safe environment. If you do ask a chemist, you could aslo get your hands on some pure acetone.

    lastly (also involving a trip to the chem department)
    Hydrogen sulfide (an acid) will tarnish silver metal. Possibly it would tarnish the silver on the film negative (I dont know what it would do to the plastic base)
    I believe Nitric acid will also dissolve silver but again i dont know what it will do to the plastic base.

    lastly, do know other then taking a match to it, all of what i listed uses toxic chemicals. Both of the acids i listed are very strong and will burn you.
    The only household chemical that might have an effect is the acetone in nail polish but i doubt the concentration in nail polish will do much.
    your best bet is to explain to the chem dpt what you are doing and ask if you can proceed under the supervision of a chemist.
    good luck
     
  3. Markus712

    Markus712 TPF Noob!

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    I appreciate the suggestions! =)
     
  4. trailstrider

    trailstrider TPF Noob!

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    Ive used acetone a lot for fiberglass work.. you can buy it by the gallon at a place like home depot. It does definitely disolve the plastics though... In fact, if you dont want the negatives clouding up, i wouldnt recommend it... though, they might not cloud up if you dont touch them at all... but it couldnt hurt to play with it..


    another suggestion that would be cleaner than a lighter wolud be an iron, the oven, ou even a soldering iron.... a heat gun may also do the trick.... depends on the effect you are trying to achieve. I wouldnt be surprised if those negatives turn out to be flamable either.

    Something that would be interesting to try would be to get drops of water on the negative and freeze it so they ice up in spots, then heat it fast to get warpage... might even try dunking them in a 50-50 acetone/water bath (or even rubbing alcohol) and lighting them on fire. My goal would be to have them only burn for a few seconds and then fuzzle out before they get too hot and ignite the negatives themselves... If you play with this and experiment, i would be curious to hear what you come up with.... maybe some pictures of the different methods? =)

    Good luck!
     

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