Photolatente is an artistic project begun by Oscar Molina in 1998 in order to explore questions relating to different aspects of artistic creation and involving in it a large number of people.

It uses the mechanics of photography as a procedural tool and basically focuses on that unique photochemical state known as the "latent-state image".

The Photolatente envelope
The project is structured around a closed and opaque envelope containing a photosensitive photographic paper impressed with an image in its latent stage; the paper is impressed by effect of light but is not developed.

Each envelope contains an original and unique image as the negative is destroyed after making the imprint.

It also includes a small leaflet with basic instructions for easy developing.

  Photolatente photosensitive photographic paper impressed with an image in its latent stage
  Photo: aspect of a "photolatente paper"
with the dry-seal

Where do the Photolatente pictures come from?
The shots used to impress Photolatente papers are taken by a wide variety of people.

The only pre-requisite is to have attended at least one "Photolatente meeting". During this meeting, if they decide to participate in the project, O. Molina lends them an unexposed roll of film.

Participants are given total freedom regarding technique, subject and content of what they shoot. After exposing the roll of film, the participant returns it to Oscar Molina.

The roll goes to form part of a group of anonymous rolls, that lack all information as to their contents. These are therefore completely unknown to the author, publisher and sponsors of the project.

The shots in the rolls are used randomly to imprint photosensitive papers which, in turn, will be inserted in latent state into a photolatente envelope.

The names of participants remain unknown. When participants return the roll of film they give up all rights to the images it contains.

  Photolatente meeting
  Photolatente meeting
Top photo: Photolatente meeting, ©José Muñoz
Bottom photo: rolls of film returned by participants

Photolatente editions
The envelopes are published in "Photolatente editions".

Any person, association, company or institution can act as project publisher.

A Photolatente edition consists in the production and distribution of a number of original Photolatente envelopes in agreement with the publisher.

Each edition must respect the conceptual framework of the project, which include elements like the price of the envelopes.

However this does not imply that it is impossible to introduce changes in different editions, regarding, for example, the presentation or distribution of the envelopes, the quantity, format, or other graphic characteristics.

The number of possible editions is not limited; Photolatente is an open project and has no restrictions as to time, quantity of envelopes or number of participants.

  Photolatente envelope
  Photo: reverse of 1st edition Photolatente envelope

Distribution of the envelopes
The public can buy Photolatente envelopes depending on the means offered by each edition.

After acquiring a Photolatente envelope, the buyer can either develop it or not do so.If she or he decides to develop, he will get a unique image, never previously published and unknown to the author, publisher or sponsor of the project.

Before, during or after developing, she or he has the possibility of transforming the picture with no constraint whatsoever. Once the image is visible, she or he acquires all the rights of exploitation of the image within the terms set up by the project.

It is the buyer's responsibility to abide by the laws of each country. Any person can acquire Photolatente envelopes, however the publisher must advise in the envelopes that the use is recommended for people over 18 years old.

The owner of a Photolatente envelope can also choose to leave the envelope unopened and decide not to develop the potential image it contains. The latent image will remain inside as a secret moment of a process of transformation.

  Photolatente envelope
  Photo: first Photolatente envelope sold at the presentation of the project. July 02


How can I acquire Photolatente envelopes?
How can I participate in the project?
Who can be a publisher of the project?
How is the cost of the Photolatente envelopes (0.60 euros) established?
How does Photolatente work economically?
Are the names of the participants secret?
How are the latent imprints made?
What can I do with a Photolatente envelope?
When will the project be finished?
Is there a control of the envelopes or images?
  Description. FAQ about Photolatente