Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Antena in The Columbia Chronicle

Pocket pix
Chicago-based photogs use iPhone camera, applications for art

by HermineBloom

During 24-year-old photographer Jeremy Edward’s walk to the El, he will likely identify a graffitied, abandoned storefront in the city, snap a quick photo, manipulate the image using an iPhone application or two and upload it to his online portfolio—all within the five to 10 minutes before the Red Line appears.

Chicago-based iPhone photographers, much like Edwards, are embracing their point-and-shoot, three megapixel camera phones for a desired aesthetic—one that is akin to a Polaroid—in order to create art with intention, which is then showcased in galleries around the country, as opposed to frivolous party pictures.

While living in rural Kentucky, Edwards discovered peculiar subjects for photographs and began shooting regularly at age 15. But it wasn’t until 2003 that Edwards graduated from college and experimented with digital photography. Though he describes himself as always being “a photographer at heart,” he pursued international development work in both Japan and China after college.

Edwards, now an Edgewater neighborhood resident, launched the “From the Pocket” project in 2008 as a series of pictures taken exclusively with an iPhone camera and edited with iPhone applications. He generally documents fragile parts of the city that have character, he said.

“I think there’s something organically beautiful about the limitations of the iPhone,” Edwards said. “It’s just a simple point and shoot and there’s not that much you can do. What’s unique about it is that all your post-imaging processing is all done in the same place.”

A strong advocate for editing iPhone photography with only one or two applications as opposed to handfuls, Edwards insists that people who wish to take iPhone photography shouldn’t “push the limits of what a camera can and can’t do,” which is one of many tips he listed on his “From the Pocket” Web site blog.

Shake It, an application that transforms an iPhone picture into a Polaroid with a white border, and Lo-mob, an application that alters the color scheme to appear warmer and more distorted, are among five applications that Edwards said he uses regularly to edit his photography.

About 100 of Edwards’ photographs will be featured in a book that he is self-publishing with an expected release date of either April 1 or May 1, he said.

“I wanted to put together something really substantial that gives a good illustration of how something as simple as a phone can actually be artful,” Edwards said.

Chicago-based photographer Sarah Best describes her iPhone photography as an extension of her love for New York poet Frank O’Hara, whose poems were conversational and usually centered around being out around town with his friends, she said.

“I want to make you feel like you know the people who are in my picture,” Best said. “That warmth comes out when the pictures are a little washed out and the colors are distorted with the Polaroid application.”

Trying to create a sense of immediacy is important to Best, which she said adds an element of chance to her art—comparable to any other medium such as ceramics if a pot loses shape in a kiln, for example.

Best, the Web specialist at Chicago Office of Tourism, compiled iPhone photographs for her “Daily Photos, on the Project Wall” exhibit, consisting mostly of portraits of friends. The exhibit is showcasing at Antena Gallery, 1765 S. Laflin St., from Feb. 19 to March 20.

Everyone is invited to bring their cell phones with them to the gallery so that she can send them her work via multimedia message if they’d like to take the image home with them, Best said.

“I like the idea of people being able to own their own art and also experience art while they’re out having dinner or with their friends,” she said.

Whether a photographer can afford an expensive SLR camera is no longer an issue.

Kay Frederick, a 38-year-old accountant, was given a first-generation iPhone as a gift in 2008, which is when she began to take iPhone photography and build a body of work on Flickr, an image and video hosting Web site and online community.

“I can take a picture of those same Marina Towers every single week and how I’m feeling, or what applications I’m into that week will make it totally different each time,” Frederick said.

Though she said she has downloaded about 50 photograph editing applications for her iPhone, she only uses a few applications—occasionally as a layering effect—depending on what the specific picture merits.

Frederick also explained that people are reluctant to change, which is why iPhone photography can be criticized for being amateur.

After submitting her work to a contest, three of her photos were chosen to appear in exhibit at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, Calif., called “Pixels at an Exhibition—the Art of the iPhone.” The 200 selected photographs will comprise a book as well.

For more information about Jeremy Edward’s “From the Pocket” project visit, JeremyEdwards.Tumblr.com. To learn more about Sarah Best’s work, visit TryLessHard.com/Sarah/. For more of Kay Frederick’s work visit, Flickr.com/Photos/SparkyLuck/.

original post: http://columbiachronicle.com/pocket-pix/

Antena in The Chicago Weekly

Scout’s Horror: Chris Smith’s gruesome survivalist art at antena Gallery
Written by: Ethan Bass

On the ground lies Geoffrey, a cat who has seen better days. His limbs are splayed out and his skin is peeled off. The apparatus that killed Geoffrey is constructed from simple materials: a plastic bag, an air mattress pump, hair, epoxy, and packaging tape. The bag is appended to the twisted form of the animal and can be inflated from underneath in a novel method of torture that only uses household materials. A table, strewn with makeshift construction materials—Styrofoam cups, a plastic fan, clothespins—faces a wall filled with sketches for various other devices. The macabre scene is part of “Inland Architect,” the new installation piece by artist Chris Smith at Pilsen’s antena gallery.

Smith is evasive when discussing the details of his project. It is designed to be “nomadic,” he says, as in, “you can pick it up and take it with you.” When pressed, he describes the show as “the story of cast-off materials, told through a haunted tutorial for survival.” The intention is vague, but productive. His method of assembling detritus is well suited to his purpose; the grisly scenes he constructs seem to present a perspective that is consistent with the nature of materials that compose them. The weatherproofed windows and “backpack pandemic ventilator” probably do not function, but they realistically depict what such inventions might look like. The colorful set-up recalls the chambers of a disturbed mind, obsessed by the possibility of world catastrophe, reacting desperately to an onslaught of threats in a disordered surplus of activity.

Smith says he draws inspiration from his years in the Boy Scouts, where he learned how to whittle and build fires, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. It is this formative experience, he says, that first drew him to a philosophy of survivalism. “It runs in my blood,” Smith says. One can’t help but wonder what kind of scouting experience Smith had: his artistic vision, and the significant part that sadomasochism appears to play in it, is distinctly at odds with the traditional ethos of the Boy Scouts. The stark worldview implied in the installation is the antithesis of the scout’s commitment to “providing service” and “reinforcing ethical standards,” and it clashes with nearly all of the values encoded in Scout Law, such as Obedience, Kindness, and Charity. Of the ideals championed in the scout’s code, Thriftiness is the only one supported in the show.

By way of context, the artist provides what he claims is a citation from the literature of the U.S. paramilitary organization the Michigan Militia: “Those that have not will attempt to take from those that have. If you prepare to survive, you deserve to survive…If you have the kind of intellect that’s geared to survival, it may be a matter of genetics.” This Darwinian worldview, which exalts survival as the highest value, is amply represented in the show. Smith says that the Michigan Militia is a “sponsor” of the show, but it is unclear if there is any real connection.

“Inland Architect” is graphic, disturbing, and ultimately ambiguous in its effect. However, it is successful in displaying a lurid sight of the depths to which the will to self-preservation can reach, and continues the series of provocative shows featured at antena.

antena, 1765 S. Laflin St. Opening reception February 19. Friday, 6-10pm. Through March 20. By appointment only. (773)257-3534. antenapilsen.com

From The Chicago Weekly: http://chicagoweekly.net/2010/02/18/scouts-horror-chris-smith%E2%80%99s-gruesome-survivalist-art-at-antena-gallery/



February 26-27 • NOON-6:00 PM BOTH DAYS

Please join us for two days of art, books, talks, things for sale, things for
free, and more from the following people, groups and organizations:

Antena antenapilsen.com
AREA Chicago areachicago.org
Bad At Sports badatsports.com
CAFF “Find us in the real world motherfuckers!”
Gallery 400 gallery400.aa.uic.edu
Esteban Garcia snebtor.chiguiro.org
Golden Age shopgoldenage.com
Green Lantern Press press.thegreenlantern.org
Half Letter Press halfletterpress.com
Terence Hannum terencehannum.com
Harold Arts haroldarts.org
Imperfect Articles imperfectarticles.com
InCUBATE incubate-chicago.org
Clifton Meador & guests cliftonmeador.com
David Moré
No Coast no-coast.org
Onsmith Dog Stew & Monkey Nudd Wine
Pros Arts Studio prosarts.org
Proximity Magazine proximitymagazine.com
Radah & Team
Spudnik Press spudnikpress.com
Bert Stabler bertstabler.com
threewalls three-walls.org

Organized by Temporary Services in conjunction with ART WORK: A NATIONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT ART, LABOR, AND ECONOMICS • www.artandwork.us
Art & Design Hall • 400 S. Peoria St. • www.gallery400.aa.uic.edu • 312-996-6114