Forever and ever
Heliographies for my sons
Dissolve 3 grams of Syrian asphalt in 15 ml lavender oil.
Wait a few days.
Brush the emulsion onto a tinplate. Leave to dry on a preheated casting plate for approx. 20 minutes.
Expose to sunlight for 2-3 days.
Rinse the unsolidified emulsion with lavender oil.
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce called this process heliography and described it in 1829 in „Notice sur l’Héliographie“. It is the first photographic process that makes it possible to record reality on a metal plate from an optical darkroom (camera obscura).
In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of „world history“—yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.
One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human, rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it. But if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that he floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world.
On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense