Électrographie de l'argent
Hugo Pétigny (FR)
Électrographie de l'argent

A solar panel from a Chinese company, suspected of having used Uighur labour, powers thirty-two bulbs that light up solar cells glued to a glass plate. These cells produce different levels of electric current by virtue of the photovoltaic effect whereby contact with a solution of water and silver nitrate triggers the formation of silver crystals on the glass plate. Depending on the number of hours of sunlight in the exhibition space, the shapes take varying amounts of time to build up until they create a glass plate covered with connected crystals whose size defines their resistance over time. Once the composition is complete, the glass plate is removed from the lighting system and becomes an electrograph with electrical energy accumulating the power from all the solar cells.

This project is the beginning of research into the creation of a new type of image, the components of which are inherited from photography, and it integrates an ecological response into its creative process. The extraction of silver, whose mines are expected to be depleted by about 2035, is the subject of this electrograph, which recalls the responsibility of the photographic medium in using silver to create photosensitive emulsion, and the continuity of this extraction in the creation of the connectors of photovoltaic cells. The infinitely small continues to be constructed on the glass plate as long as water is added and brings into view a world where silver drives the connections of the different powers of cells seeking to unite and develop.

Hugo Pétigny
Hugo Pétigny France
Promotion Marguerite Duras


Born in Le Havre in 1992, Hugo Pétigny is interested in the energy that a still image can exude. In his work, he takes the interactions of the quantum world as a reference, in order to translate his questions about contemporary society and to transmit the energy contained in light by means images.

    Production : Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains