Don't Break the Exacto Knife

A portrait of the Tulane School of Architecture


Funded by the Dean's Excellence award, “Don’t Break the Exacto Knife” is a project by Tulane School of Architecture’s, David Armentor, which attempts to capture a panorama of the Tulane School of Architecture for its 120th anniversary by creating individual formal collodion portraits of 120 students who currently occupy its space. This survey will emphasize the student community of the school, illustrating its makeup and camaraderie, while creating time capsule TSA alumni can relate to as well as reflect upon.

The idea of photographing a school in addition to the manner in which architecture­­ students are taught to view and use processes led to the choice the of the Wet Plate Collodion medium as the sole capture technique. The aesthetic range of the final images shows the technical learning curve and allowed the artist to create a visual dictionary of the breakdown of this photography process.

In keeping with more contemporary traditions a QR code was added to give more insight to each the portraits. When captured the QR code takes you to a random website that illustrates the selected students’ interests during the spring of 2014.

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