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Chapter 3 turns to platinum and the theme of atmosphere. The pictorialists championed the atmospheric aesthetics of platinum prints, but platinum and atmosphere also have a material dimension: platinum prints were a chemically stable alternative to silver prints, which were vulnerable to growing industrial air pollution. Tracing platinum’s supply chains to South Africa, this chapter conducts an atmospheric reading of platinum prints by David Goldblatt and Simon Starling to show how the metal’s promise of stable boundaries is undermined by the dust and particles that atmosphere carries between bodies and landscapes. It concludes with Larry McNeil’s exploration of coal mining and atmosphere in the western United States to contrast the futurity promised by the stability of the platinum print with the reality that polluted atmosphere is foreclosing collective futures on this planet.

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