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Latent Image: Not Entirely Invisible

A Parallel Planets piece by Mayee Gonzales

Parallel Planets presents Latent Image 
in Not Entirely Invisible
Story and Interview by Mayee Gonzales

Mentioned: self-portraiture, teleportation and Cindy Sherman

* * *

Between daydreams and day jobs are two girls who can’t exactly keep their thoughts in mind. Constantly possessing a stream of imagery with words rattling within, we meet Allison and Nicole from Vancouver, Canada. Young, artistic and both with a knack in the fields of photography and writing, Allison and Nicole submerge their selves into a world of creation, leaving them inspired and always wanting for more.

Yet behind all the creating was a desire to release their craft outside the globe they lived – there was a clear need for something tangible, something to collaborate with and eventually multiply. And it wasn’t just for their own artistic crave but also for other people who seeks a platform to share their creative outputs.

And so roughly a year ago, Allison and Nicole spawned Latent Image Magazine. An independent publication born from their radical minds, Latent Image Magazine marries the girls’ love for photography and writing into a published format. A collection of submissions together with Allison and Nicole’s individual work, Latent Image is a far-cry from other magazines both digital and on print. Each flip takes you in a gallery of snaps, mostly shot in film, and a sea of words, idyllic and personal at the same time.

From abstract self-portraits, peculiar fashion, and even distraught architecture, Latent Image serves as a medium for the vaguest yet relatable ideas rooted from minds all over the world. It’s a collection of images and words that speaks for itself as it also pleasures one’s senses and mind.

Now on to their fourth issue, Latent Image is nowhere invisible to the naked eye. Available to view for free in their website, Latent Image can also be purchased on print whenever desired.  Take it as compilation of your deepest thoughts, translated into visible art form.

Parallel Planets took pleasure to interview the women behind Latent Image. Know more of Allison and Nicole’s creative endeavours as they continue to dream in a world they enjoy in.

 * * *

Hello, Allison and Nicole!  Can you please tell us something about Latent Image.  How and when did it begin?

Hello, Parallel Planets! Thank you for taking the time to interview us. I always had the desire to create a magazine that showcased art in some way. I started to think about the idea of having a tangible format to illustrate all the artists I was finding through various social media, and it was around this time that I met Nicole, and we started going out on photo excursions and the creativity momentum transformed itself into the magazine during the fall of 2013.

Our first issue was a test project, essentially. We just asked artists friends we knew if they’d be willing to contribute and if there was enough interest, we would continue. Thankfully, there was and we are now working on our first anniversary issue, slated for release at the end of November.

Who or what inspires the both of you on running a publication like this?

As we spend a good deal of time together, talking about art projects, a lot of our inspiration in putting this publication comes from each other, or others we admire.

Our goal for the magazine is to share what we are finding online but in a tangible format.

photo from Latent Image's Facebook page

Do you follow a certain theme or feel for every issue released?

When we first talked about the inaugural issue, we did play around with various themes but found it too constricting so we left it open-ended. In the second issue we decided to do a “Spotlight Series” which I suppose is our way around the specific theme issue. We highlight two to three different artists and they often fit into a specific theme. For our next issue this November, we are focusing on “self-portraiture.”

Are you strict with your submissions? How do you filter them for every issue?

We joke that the reason this magazine works is that we both like entirely different things. We look over submissions from different angles. At first we tried having “fresh” images (those that have not been published online already) and then hit a few walls attempting to stick with that. Social media is so ubiquitous it’s not realistic to keep things exclusive for us at this point. Now our guideline (primarily with photographs) is “does this tell an interesting story?” Often times if it makes us debate, then it is. We do not accept every submission we receive.

How is a regular day for Allison and Nicole? Tell us more about the other side of yourself.

Allison: My day typically starts with Nicole texting me.

Nicole: It’s true. We are good wake-up calls to one another.

Allison: Photography isn't my profession; I’m a curator and I work in a history museum. So I spend the majority of my day writing, accessioning artefacts and thinking about teleportation. Teleportation has nothing to do with my job but I still spend a lot of time thinking about it.

When I’m not working, I’ll typically be reading, listening to music, collecting records, or taking photos in some fashion. I like to take self-portraits. I’m fairly quiet as a person, so it’s a good outlet for me and is also good practice. I've only been taking photographs for a short period of time, when I’m on my own; I don’t mind the feeling of uncertainty.

Nicole: I spend most of my days managing the film department of Beau Photo Supplies, a camera store in Vancouver. Between work thoughts I dream of more ideas for my art and think about what we could do if we had the money for a space to shoot and carry out some of my more extreme ideas. I also create abstract art and writing. I'd like to take a more abstract approach to my photography as well so that’s where a space would come in handy. I also love taking self-portraits, as all my art is reflection of my thoughts and often it’s easier shooting yourself than finding a model.

Since we are having the theme “BLACK” for Parallel Planets’ current issue, can you share to us your favorite black and white photo? It can be shot by an iconic photographer, a friend, or even by yourself.

Without talking to each other, we both chose the same artist, Cindy Sherman, and the same series of hers: Film Stills (1977-1980). We are both attracted to a) her talent and b) how her work leaves interpretation to the viewer. We each have different images of hers that resonate from her Film Stills series.

Allison: Film Still #48 is my favorite of Sherman’s. The character she’s created is standing at the side of the road (the road is at a bend) and she is facing away from the camera, with the suitcase next to her. We cannot see her face, but it’s clear she’s waiting for something. What is she waiting for? That’s the best part – we don’t know. This was the first image I ever saw of Sherman’s work and all these years later it’s still burned into my memory. Every time I view it, a different story comes to my mind.

Nicole: Film Still #84 is my favorite of her work. She is in a kitchen, and the groceries all ripped from a bag, onto the floor. I loved the dark stories I made up in my head to go along with her work.

What is your perspective on black and white photography versus color photography? Which one do you prefer and why?

Allison: I prefer black and white. I've always been more drawn to black and white photography; perhaps it’s merely nostalgia, I’m not sure. In my own work, I’m less trusting of colors because I like stark contrast and highlights. Often I can never get this to work with color. It’s more challenging to me, so I gravitate towards the familiar.

Nicole: I actually like color and black and white photos equally. However, I feel like getting a good black and white photo is tricky. Therefore, if it’s digital, I change this photo I just took to black or white, or leave it in color which most often I  do. In my opinion black and white needs to be uncluttered to make a real impact. Because of this I generally stick to bright color.

What we should we look forward to with Latent Image? Any projects or collaborations we should watch out for?

We are hoping to put together an exhibition next year. We are still figuring out the specifics like how we can fund it primarily. But we would like to continue expanding by showcasing artists that inspire us and bring them (hopefully) to more people. Our goal is always to get people off the screens viewing art and put it in their hands, or have them experience it in person.

As far as our own individual projects (and collaborations), we are looking to find a studio space so we can have a bit more versatility in shooting.

photo from Latent Image's Facebook page

In this planet we’re thriving in –

            What is your power animal? Why?

Allison: Owl. I’ve always been drawn to them throughout my whole life plus I collect “owl related” things. Also, it’s important for a creature to look good in spectacles. My power animal would have spectacles.

Nicole: Mine would be a cat because I always seem to have one around and they are actual time travellers. They know time is not linear and aren’t bound to it. And they are soft. It’s also interesting to note that everyone really dear to me has always loved owls. I cannot explain this strangeness.

         Who is your alternate ego? Why?

Allison: Nicole always says I’m like a cat, because ... why is it again?

Nicole: Well, really it’s your sitting on the edge of things “don’t touch me attitude at first.” Then only after being sure of someone you are relaxed and huggable among many other reasons.

Allison: She’s right.

Nicole: My alter ego would be a unicorn, I think.

Allison: Yes, she likes to be more imagined than real in her mind and in her art – plus rainbows.

photo c/o Latent Image's Facebook page
In an alternate universe where art does not exist –

What would be your name? Why?

Both Nicole and I have been re-watching Fringe (television series) lately so this talk of an alternate universe is fitting. I believe my name would be the same. But if I had to choose I’d go with “Wednesday” as it has always been a favourite of mine.

Nicole: Fringe is my favorite story ever. The thought of an alternate universe is actually something I believe is true. I agree with Al, my name would be the same; however I was very close to being named “Theresa Patricia Rose” instead of “Nicole Rachel” so perhaps my alternate might have had that name.

What would you be doing instead? Why?

Allison: I’d be a detective, trying to find out where all the art went? I don’t know. That’s a difficult question to imagine with no art at all. I've always wanted to be a detective though.
Agatha Christie is to blame.

Nicole: In this alternate universe do I have a higher intellect?  Because if that’s the case I’d like to be a mad scientist, discovering secrets of the universe.

More from Latent Image: Website, Facebook

Disclaimer: In lieu with Parallel Planets' general aesthetics, almost all images found on this website appear in black & white. Hover on them to view the original versions and click them to see in high resolutions. All media files solely belong to their respective artists, some of which are exclusive for Parallel Planets only. If you wish to use any of these, please contact the author or artist first. Thank you!
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