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Gordon Bleach Scrypt photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArt-0115

Scope and Contents

The photographs are from Scrypt, an ongoing project that writes and stages the archive - 'memory building' in a double sense. Initially housed in the Library of the Rochester Institute of Technology during its major expansion (1989-91), Scrypt addressed the procedures by which an archive and its material structure are fabricated. The images displayed here record small geographic and architectural pathologies (building walks, spurious artifacts) performed on the construction site. Long exposures of up to an hour were used to question the self-evident immediacy of photographic documentation. Since the aberrational structures were traced, built, dismantled and returned during exposure, they are only partially legible in the final images. Furthermore, the archivist-builder appears blurred to the point of invisibility. Library construction eventually shuttered and entombed what remained of the scenes and their spray-painted inscriptions. The spurious artifacts are now dispersed across the official building and the borrowed materials encrypted in their proper place.These photographs document the construction but are also a work of art as well in that the artist painted words on the building and used lasers to draw in the photos.

The project was a fulfillment of Mr. Bleach's Masters in Fine Arts thesis at RIT in 1994. Link to the artists' thesis:


  • Creation: 1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Gordon Bleach was a Zimbabwean artist born in 1953. He received his first Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Cape Town. In the late 1980's he moved to the United States and taught mathematics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He went on to run the photography department at the University of Florida. His big break came in 1996 when he participated in the Guggenheim Museum's exhibition of African photographers, In/sight. His work has appeared in numerous publications and catalogues. Mr. Bleach died in 1999 of cancer.


0.5 Linear Feet (One flat box - 16.5" x 20.5")




Scrypt: three site-specific projects performed on and in the Wallace Memorial Library at the Rochester Institute of Technology during the construction of the Library extension, January 1990 - May 1991, as part of Gordon Bleach's Masters in Fine Arts thesis. The collection is thirteen photographs.


Collection is thirteen matted photographs in no particular order.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 152

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Gordon Bleach Scrypt photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The photographs were purchased by Patricia Pitkin, director of the Wallace Library in 1991. Accession number(s): 2014:021

Gordon Bleach Scrypt photographs
RIT Art Collection
Jody Sidlauskas
21 February 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA