This one who’s blind, she’s the one that can see

Ectoplasm (from the Greek ektos, meaning “outside”, and plasma, meaning “something formed or molded”) is a term used in spiritualism to denote a substance or spiritual energy “exteriorized” by physical mediums. It was coined in 1894 by psychical researcher Charles Richet. Although the term is widespread in popular culture, the physical existence of ectoplasm is not accepted by science and many purported examples were exposed as hoaxes fashioned from cheesecloth, gauze or other natural substances.

Wikipedia

 

Wetplate by Julie Loen

 

For a long time I have been fascinated and amused by  photographs of Ectoplasm.

People really believed in this idea, and the photos were supposed to document this phenomenon.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun it would be trying to create an Ectoplasm scene.

 

A medium producing ectoplasm manifestation, taken by Albert Freiherr von Schrenck-Notzing a German physician, psychiatrist and notable psychical researcher.

 

The camera

For this scene, I had to build a camera.

I made it from of paper, old pieces of metal, and wood.

 Spirit photography is a type of photography whose primary attempt is to capture images of ghosts and other spiritual entities, especially in ghost hunting and has a strong history dating back to the late 19th century.

Wikipedia

 

Ectoplasm – Me by Julie Loen

The Medium

I experimented with many different looks for the mouse, and a lot of techniques and shapes for the ectoplasm, before I decided to go for a more expressive look.

 

Don’t Look Now

Both the Ectoplasm scene and the Spirit Trumpet- scene are somewhat inspired by my favorite film, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973). The psychic, blind woman who gets into a weird and scary kind of extasy when she is doing a seance, is a character that was in the back of my head when creating the medium for this ectoplasm scene.

 

Hilary Mason as the medium Heather.

Wetplates by Julie Loen

Reference-images for the photographer and his camera.

At the tailor

An old scarf becomes an excellent tweed suit for the photographer.

Sculpting the stove.

This was the first time I sculpted a larger piece of furniture. I got the advice to use Supersculpey instead of Fimo (Thank you, Kitsune!),  and there was so much more I could do now.

I painted it in acrylic and metallic paint.

The fern