During the Covid-19 summer of isolation in 2020, I took photographs, experimenting with Rachael Anderson, a painter/thinker/filmmaker. During this time of extreme isolation and uncertainty, Rachael and I created a space of care and platonic relationship building at their family’s orchard using the Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera. The camera was a tool that helped catalyze a development in our relationship. The collaborative photography practice that emerged between Rachael and I is a socially-engaged artwork that continued the following summer and remains largely ongoing through diverse methods of art making.

The second summer of photo-experimentation expanded to inlcude other film-based cameras outside of the Polaroid SX-70. These images were taken using a Yashica LT medium format.

In the fall of 2020, Roya Amirsoleymani and I had a reflective conversation where we discussed joy and the importance of friendship, a relationship that often gets dismissed in contrast of romantic relationships. After speaking with Roya, I wrote about the photography excursions with Rachael in a newsletter I sent out by email detailing the importance of platonic love and the unplanned collaborative photography practice between Rachael and I. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter:

“Over the past few months, I've spent a lot of time with my friend Rachael at her family's farm. She's usually painting when I show up. We exchange updates on our lives, talk shit about problematic systems that serve a small group of people. We wander into the acreages of the land her family farms. We wander through fields of flowers, okra, and weeds. We crawl through forests of bamboo and pumpkin patches. We set up our cameras, usually trading off use of a tripod; we take our photographs.

Rachael introduced me to Polaroid's SX-70 Land camera. I found it surprising how beautiful the photos can be from an instant camera. I've been obsessed ever since she showed me how to take double exposures on my One Step Polaroid camera. She's pushed me back towards film photography which has made me feel fulfilled in a way that I haven't felt in a very long time.

And, it isn't just about the photographs. This space that Rachael and I have created through our friendship together in a time of quarantine - the platonic exchange of love, support, and encouragement is where the real beauty lies. I feel as if we have traveled back in time. As if we are in our youth, as children almost; wandering through the land with an intimacy between each other, our cameras, and the natural world. It’s a world we fabricate with a safeness that has been hard to find elsewhere.”

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rebecca copper — based in the occupied Shawandassee Tula, Kaskaskia, and Myaamia lands also known as Cols. OH