double blind studies

[click right to access images of the photographs]

Double Blind Studies is a suite of gelatin silver print photographs created from abstract drawings.Following the scientific ‘double blind study’, I put drawings into a testing space of photography.  A double negative, a bilateral symmetry, a  photogram like effect– reveal something the drawing was blind to, before it was transformed into a print. Is this a scene of pinned specimens or mug shots in profile, face to face? A forensic investigation, a laboratory at night, push pins are visible, drips and scratches check the walls. Just-the-facts yields to primitive science. The air is dense with texture like chalk dust on a blackboard. An approach to life.

I shot video for six days on board a marine biology research voyage in the Gulf of Mexico, after the BP oil spill. Profuse crustaceans and rare bioluminescent fish came up at night from great depths of 1200 meters and more— into the blinding white light on board ship. Double Blind Studies evolved from this encounter. The deep-sea marine life is a hidden taxonomy.The direct encounter with the benthic layer—where it is always night — is the inspiration for this suite of gelatin silver prints, shot digitally and printed by hand. Printed at Griffin Editions in Brooklyn, New York, September 2012.

Christina McPhee


Christina McPhee’s crossmedia practice is based on spatial studies and abstraction across media, including drawing, painting, time-based arts and photography. Born in Los Angeles, she studied painting at Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and Boston University (MFA). “Carbon Song Cycle”, a multi-media performance work in layered video installation and chamber ensemble by McPhee and Pamela Z, won a 2012 MAP Fund Award, and premiered in 2013 at Berkeley Art Museum-Pacific Film Archive. Solo museum shows of her photographic and time-based work include Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden and American University Museum, Washington, DC. She was a participating artist in Bucharest Biennial 3 and Documenta 12 as a Documenta 12 Magazine particpating editor. Among public collections her photo-based media works are in the Whitney Museum (Artport), Rhizome Artbase at the New Museum, New York; Thresholds New Media Collection, Perth
Scotland; Open University, Milton Keynes; Center for Visual Music, Los Angeles; Rose Goldsen Archive at Cornell University, Ithaca; and Experimental Television Center, New York. McPhee lives and works in central coast California.

Please click ‘next’ at right to explore the image suite.


archival LE gelatin silver prints on fiber paper / printed at Griffin Editions, Brooklyn, September 2012
Edition of 3 + AP
Each print is 30 x 40 inches including black borders

project premiere: three prints selected for the group show: "Up All Night", SF Camerawork, San Francisco, July 10-August 16, 2014.

 interview with Christina McPhee on the double blind studies / by Louis-Georges Schwartz (2013)

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