Secrets in the Dark
Spring 2016

Secrets in the Dark is a site-specific story-telling project where I invited 30 people to spend time with me in a small darkroom and share secrets with me followed by writing out an adjective that they thought best described their secret.

Project page: Secrets in the Dark (for a better experience, please open the link in Google Chrome)

Secrets in the Dark is my final project for Collective Methods distance leaning class at NYU Shanghai while I was studying in Prague. I invited my classmates in NYU Prague into the dark room followed by turning off the light.

Then, I introduced this project to them like what I am writing now. I asked them to share a secret with me and in return, I would share a secret of mine with them.

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At the same time, I asked them to come up with an adjective that best described this secret or how they personally felt about the secret. I would then turn the red light (printing photo purpose) back on once we finished sharing our secrets and they already had an adjective in mind.

Under the dim red light, I asked them to write down their adjectives on a sheet of glass within a pre-measured and pre-marked area. I also informed them that they could do anything with this area (draw, write, etc) as long as the adjective was visible. Once the word was written, I placed a piece of light-sensative matt photo paper under that area.

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Once the paper was placed correctly, I asked participants to turn on the enlarger to project whatever they just wrote on the glass onto the light-sensaive paper. (The exposure time, 5 seconds, and contrast, level of 4, of the englarger has been adjsuted by me according to those test strips I have mede before the participants come into the darkroom.) Then, I immersed the photo paper into photo paper developer for 60 to 90 seconds, followed by fix for 20 to 30 seconds, then stop for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the photo paper was in the tray of fix, the normal light could be turned on, and the participant could leave.

Then I put the photo paper into running water for 1 minute and used a squeegee to drain the photo paper. The paper then needed to be hung up and wait till it dried up completely.

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I, then, scanned those dry photo paper and post them here with those secrets I collected in the dark.

Special thanks to Professor Bara Brazkova and the sweet lady managing the keys in Male namesti 2 Blue Building whom I bothered innumerable times.

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