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A Sparingly Calculated Light (Between Heaven and Earth)

This project is inspired by the history of photographer Henri Osti, who was active in Uppsala from 1860 until  his death in 1914. He was primarily a portrait photographer and cityscapes but was also the creator of the  first images taken with the specific purpose of being included in the international cloud atlas, commissioned  by Swedish meteorologist and professor at Uppsala University, Hugo Hildebrandsson. 

Within the framework of the project, Bela and Hagren have attempted to locate the glass negatives for these  images but have only found paper copies. When searching through the Upplandsmuseet archives, the artists  discovered an old greenhouse window, said to be constructed with Osti's old glass negatives. In the  Upplandsmuseet archive, the following information is provided: "The glass window has been in a  greenhouse. At the beginning of the century, it was common to wash glass plates clean and reuse the glass in  greenhouses and hotbeds in botanical gardens and agriculture. 

Bela and Hagren have still been unable to find Osti's glass negatives from the cloud atlas, neither in Carolina  Rediviva nor Upplandsmuseet's archives, and they wonder if Osti's significant contribution to meteorology  may have been washed away and sold (negatives with clouds as motifs may appear abstract and uninteresting  compared to cityscapes and portraits). 

In Ivar-Lo Johansson's novel "Godnatt Jord," / "Goodnight, Earth," there is a fictional character who buys  used glass from a closed photography studio. The story could be inspired by the fate of Osti's glass plates.  

Hagren & Bela have produced cameraless images by utilizing leaves as negatives in the darkroom, creating  microscopic enlargements of the structure of plants. These abstractions of nature photography are mounted in  frames, constructed in reference to hotbed windows from the early 1900s.

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