Hello-hello! My name is Arthur Arciniega and I am this summer’s new archives intern at Visual Communications. I currently attend East Los Angeles College majoring in photography with plans to transfer in the spring. I first picked up a camera when I was 17 and since then, I haven’t been able to put it down. I’m more of a traditional black and white photographer and the majority of my work is shot in film.
For the past six years now I have been shooting a series about the life of my grandfather, Martin Montes. In 2008, I moved into his home off of 4th street in Boyle Heights. It’s been an interesting experience for me living and growing with this man, so I wanted document the life of my grandpa and how he interacts with the world around him. I’m fortunate to attend one of the few colleges to have a running darkroom and to be honest, there is something truly rewarding about producing an image in the darkroom versus printing out something digitally. Most importantly, film reveals a ‘truthfulness’ within its contents, a kind of authenticity that isn’t as obtainable with digital photography which tends to have a plastic-synthetic look to the final product of the print.
My interest in photography is expanding to include the history of photography and the preservation of the older processes that date back to the early 19th century. My interest in archives sparked when I took an internship at the Chicano Studies Research Center on UCLA, where I worked closely with CSRC’s resident Librarian/Archivist, Lizette Guerra, and Archives Manager, Michael Stone. During my time as a intern, I handled a variety of tasks including preparing materials for public access, collection processing and development, caring and describing photographs and negatives. I had the pleasure of processing a handful of collections like the Uliises Diaz of Adobe L.A. Papers, the Maria Acosta Duran Papers, the James & Margarita Mendez Papers, and the Edward Roybal Collection.