This week in Chicago Harold Arts is having all kinds of programming which highlights the work of this past summer’s residency. I have contributed the group of photographs that you see above, they will be part of the show I Know What You Did Last Summer at the Co-Prosperity Sphere. In addition to what promises to be a great show there are performances and musical events happening at various venues all week. I Know What You Did Last Summer opens on Halloween and will start at 6pm and go all night long. They really know how to throw an opening in Chicago! I wish I could go and take part and see my fellow residents and what they actually made during our time in the woods. I have included the Harvest flyer with more information below.


Graphic Intersections

I am extremely excited to have been chosen to participate in the first Graphic Intersections that the Exposure Project is organizing. I think this will be a really exciting collaboration and I will be very curious about the final results. The Exposure Project describes the idea behind Graphic Intersections as follows:

“In the spirit of artistic collaboration, The Exposure Project is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new, somewhat experimental photographic endeavor. Graphic Intersections, loosely inspired by the old Surrealist and Dadaist game Exquisite Corpse, is a project that will attempt to unite disparate artists in an interconnected, photographic relay of images inspired by one another. For those unfamiliar with Exquisite Corpse, it is succinctly described here:

‘Among Surrealist techniques exploiting the mystique of accident was a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Based on an old parlor game, it was played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.’

…The first photographer will be given a prompting word or concept to work from and will subsequently make photographs inspired by this idea. They will send us their favorite and most representative image from this session which we will then send along to the next artist. The succeeding artist, based solely on their visual, emotional, intellectual, or philosophical response, will in turn make photographs in artistic reaction to the one they were given. The artists involved will not be given any written material to accompany the photograph, nor will they know whose image they’re responding to. This is designed to propagate randomness and avoid preconceived biases. This process will continue until the chain has been completed…

As visual artists, our creative decisions are largely affected by a myriad of personal, social, political and aesthetic issues, all of which impact the photographs we make. With a such a diverse array of artistic identities included in one project, we hope that Graphic Intersections will facilitate greater communication and solidarity, not only between the photographers involved, but between the images produced.”

Participating photographers include:
Ben Alper
Anastasia Cazabon
Thomas Damgaard
Scott Eiden
Jon Feinstein
Elizabeth Fleming
Alan George
Hee Jin Kang
Drew Kelly
Mike Marcelle
Chris Mottalini
Ed Panar
Bradley Peters
Cara Phillips
Noel Rodo-Vankeulen
Irina Rozovsky
Brea Souders
Jane Tam
Grant Willing

Root Division

Tomorrow night is the Root Division’s 7th Annual Art Auction. I have donated the photo below which is part of a larger series I am still working on centered around the town of Gustine, CA. I realize that half a day’s notice is a little short and I would have done myself and Root Division a better service by posting this earlier, but what can I say, I have been real busy lately. If you are in the city tomorrow night and want to hang out with some fancy people buying art some down and enjoy yourself, the silent auction begins at 7:30 and the live auction starts at 8:15. Last year was a really great time and I expect the same tomorrow night!

The Panopticon

The Bay Area Video Coalition has curated a show around the idea of the Panopticon. This show is part of their on going series of exhibitions called Roh Stoff(Raw Materials).

The Panopticon was originally an idea for a new methodology of prison design and management put forth by Jeremy Bentham in England in 1785. In theory, the design of this new building would allow one guard to observe(opticon) all(pan) the prisoners but from a vantage point that would not allow the inmates to know if and when the guard was actually watching. The prison as Bentham wanted it built was actually never erected during his lifetime, but the idea of the Panopticon has endured in no small part because of the french theorist Michel Foucault. Foucault theorized that any structure of hierachy such as the army, the factory, the school and the corporation have all evolved to resemble a structure of power similar to Bentham’s prison. Foucault felt that within society we are always being normalised by the powers that may be watching because we are powerless to know if they are or are not watching our movements.

We do not have to look very far to find evidence of Foucault’s Panoptic theory. Next time you leave your home to go to work begin to look for and count all of the surveillance cameras that you encounter on your trip. The surveillance camera is the panoptic eye. It is always there but rarely do we know who is watching or if it is even on.

For their exhibition BAVC is actually setting up surveillance cameras and gathering footage to see what happens under the panoptic gaze. In January, there will be a closing party in which the product of the surveillance cameras will be on display along with the photographs of people who had pictures taken of them without their knowledge. I have some work in this show along with Ryan Kellman, Josh Smith and others. The photography will be on display starting October 13th you can stop in any time during BAVC’s regular business hours to view the work.

You Rule Me

I have a couple photographs in an upcoming show at the Heaven Gallery in Chicago. The show is titled, You Rule Me and will be opening on October 10th from 7-11pm. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the opening but if you happen to be in Chicago that night or in the next couple weeks while the show is up stop in and check it out.

Introducing……. my new boss

Yesterday, I added yet another commitment to my plate. I began working for San Francisco based photographer Michael Light as his studio assistant. I was honored when he contacted me asking if I might be interested in the job. I took the position not so much for the extra income but because I felt that I could learn a lot from him in regards to running a studio and navigating the art world. Michael has completed projects comprised of images that he has shot, as well as, large projects of found imagery, most notably 100 SUNS and Full Moon. He creates photographs that explore the classic notion of the sublime in the form of aerial photography. He actually flies his own 600 pound airplane over the areas he wants to photograph and then shoots the images with a 4×5 camera. As I looked over a recent catalog that he produced for his current exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art I was surprised at the variety of images. I guess I had sort of equated aerial photography primarily with surveillance and that sort of aesthetic. However, the photographs I saw in the catalog varied from classic landscape to beautifully abstract imagery. It was interesting to realize how scale became a tool for abstraction in relation to how high above the ground he was when he took the photographs.


Another interesting thing about Michael’s process is that he seems to envision his projects in terms of books. Yes, he has wall mounted exhibitions in museums and galleries but as he told me during my interview he feels that books ultimately open a photographers work up to a larger audience. Most anyone can purchase a book of work if they want to and then they can enjoy that work however and whenever they might choose.  His books also vary from large runs such as his work with found imagery of atomic explosions for 100 SUNS, which has been printed in 19 editions world wide, down to small editions of very large books, which I will be working on in house.