Featured Photographer: Mads Madison's Global Warming Series
This feature by Michael Behlen was originally published on PRYME Editions on July 29th, 2017.
Mads Madison is a visual artist and analog photographer based in Bamberg, Germany, where he works as a psychologist during the day, and as an experimental photographer by night. He has a very long history with photography which began in 2005 when he was just 15. During that time Mads' main passion was skateboarding, which he lived and breathed. When he dislocated his ankle and was unable to keep skating, he found a new way to contribute to the skate community: by digitally photographing his local skate scene in his hometown of Erlangen, Germany.
Soon after Mads started his photography adventure, he met a guy who was shooting his skateboard surroundings with an analog 35mm camera. At first, Mads could not understand why this photographer would go through all this effort and trouble to shoot with outdated technology. The photographer invited Mads into his personal darkroom and they spent four hours developing film. After the development session was completed, Mads quickly realized that the four hours he had spent absorbed developing and printing photographs had seemed to only last a few minutes. On that day, he instantly fell in love with the world of analog photography.
Though Mads just began his instant film journey a little over a year ago [now three years ago as this article has been republished], he is already making huge impressions on the community. He recently embarked on creating his Global Warming Series, a series of scientific experiments that took "failed" or "wasted" shots from himself and other photographers, and tested them in small scale greenhouses environments. Mads exposes or injects his images with different solutions of bleach and water and places them out in the sun to "develop" in his miniature greenhouse. This process lets the sun do to his images, what we are slowly doing to our planet. After running his experiments, he found that bleach turns film emulsions a hue of green and water leads to bubbles in the layers of the film. He has since tried different variations of his greenhouse to include materials in different combinations like plastic foil, glass plates, and removing the box from the equation entirely. He soon discovered that nothing yielded better results than a simple plastic sweets box.
The images resulting from Mads’ experiments with his miniature greenhouse effect leave the viewer to absorb a post-apocalyptic spectacle filled with orange atmospheric flames, dead and brown vegetation, and fractures in the foundation of our surroundings. Though at first glance, his images are strangely beautiful in their manipulated destruction, the presented scenes represent the hard contrast of our alluring first world consumption-based lifestyle and the painful reality that our actions are already creating a shockingly terrifying world that we barely recognize. Mads Global Warming Series is a walk down future lane and a stunningly beautiful warning to remain conscious of what we expose to our easily manipulated planet. We congratulate Mads in this creation of a truly extraordinary series that pushes our potential future into the forefront of society's collective mind.
Mads' work has already made appearances in Issue 117 of Schwarzweiss Magazine, PhotoKlassik III - 2017, the latest issue 802 of Square Mag, and has been featured by several on-line platforms, including the Impossible Project Magazine, The Phoblogapher, and Emulsive. He has also appeared in Optiko Zines' 2018 Annual Photography Journal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Behlen is a photography enthusiast from Fresno, CA. He works in finance and spends his free time shooting instant film and backpacking in the California wilderness, usually a combination of the two. He is the founder of Analog Forever Magazine. Connect with Michael Behlen on his Website and on Instagram!