Here is some video documentation of my photo performance in November for Bushwick BETA Spaces. The piece uses three digital SLR cameras with their flash memory cards removed. It is still possible to take photos, but the resulting images can only be seen on the camera’s preview screen. They’re lost as soon as the next shot is taken.
Well, it certainly has been a while since I posted here. I’ve enjoyed my blog vacation, but I will break my silence to write a little bit about an art show I’m involved in next Sunday.
It’s a group show of some friends and myself, working under the moniker Future Archaeology. We are interested in a pretty wide variety of things, the 6 of us, but we’ve found common ground in this idea of creating a kind of archaeology for the future, an imagined dystopia (this word is probably debatable) of hybridized artificial life. Much like science fiction writing is often a projection of the time it was written, I see Future Archaeology as being about the group’s shared anxiety about technologies losing track of their connection to human needs, about our collective displacement of the ecological basis for life.
Our projects thus far have been about molding simple electronic circuits into artificial insects. This show will be different than previous iterations (see: Canopy Assemblage, Chrysalis). We will have documentation on hand that gives some context for what the group has been working on, but primarily the show is about presenting our individual art practices in a way that isn’t so tightly bound to the group’s constructed narrative. The show is a momentary consideration of the ephemeral present tense, whether it’s literally what’s happening here & now or explores a more abstract treatment of the idea.
The project I’ll be showing involves photography and a simple obstruction (read: gimmick). During the run of the one-day-only exhibition I will be taking pictures with a set of three digital SLR cameras. The obstruction is that I’ve removed the flash memory from each camera, creating a very limited window for viewing each image in the preview screen of the camera itself. At any given moment two cameras will present a screen-based diptych in the gallery space while I’m out taking the next shot to replace the older of the two images. I will spend the day shooting photos and will have no lasting artifact.
The piece has a kind of unwieldy name that tries to explain precisely what’s going on in the camera’s settings: Shoot w/o card: On, Review time: Hold, Auto power off: Off. I like the directness of the title, but I hope it doesn’t give the impression I’m mainly interested in a kind of mechanical exercise. I’m attempting to provoke a specific kind of reaction in viewers. In denying the longevity of the image, I’m hoping that one might come to appreciate more fully what is happening in the immediate place and time. These are photos deeply rooted in the brief span between their creation and destruction. I will attempt to elevate the sense that our shared circumstances are fleeting and precious. My central challenge will be to work effectively with the small screen size, to create images that might tweak — if even briefly — the relationship to one’s surroundings.
Anyway, come see it happen! It will be part of the Bushwick BETA Spaces festival on Sunday November 14th, from noon until 7pm. Our space is on Grattan Street, very close to the Morgan Ave L train stop. You can find more information on our website.