Last year I went to Rome. I’d previously studied in the city during college, as well as taken a brief trip there in high school, but my companion hadn’t been to Rome since he was three. So, we visited all of the important sites — the Colosseum, the Forum, Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon — and at each stop, I took out my camera and dutifully clicked the shutter. I knew I had photos — one set at least — of all of these places, yet it felt important to me to shoot them again, to capture the magic of this particular trip. I’ve never quite figured out why.
Philipp Schmitt seems to be wondering the same thing. An interaction design student at Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany, Schmitt has started a project he calls “Location-Based Light Painting,” for which he maps geotagged photos of public spaces that are available online, thus turning our obsession with photography into something tangible.
There are three steps to Schmitt’s process. He began by simply placing geotagged photos in online maps as markers, little mustard-yellow drops littering New York City. Next, he created a web app “to retrieve my current geo location and to query the web for pictures taken at that position,” he writes on his website. He also rigged a camera flash to go off whenever pictures are found, allowing him to walk around an area while the flash is triggered. He records those results in long-exposure photographs of his own that are dotted with spots of light.
In the final step, Schmitt added a person to the scenes, focusing his camera and flash on a stand-in tourist who appears and reappears brandishing a camera of his own.
The ghostly results are gray-scale photographs filled with embodied bright spots and fading figures. They are a contradiction in terms: their content seems to point to the futility of picture taking, but the feeling of hauntedness that pervades them seems to suggest some lingering power. In a curious way, they hark back to the first photograph ever taken of a person, a street scene shot by Daguerre with a 10-minute exposure — only two men stayed still long enough to appear. Then, in 1838, people went about their lives with no inkling of the technology that was set to revolutionize the world; now we carry it in our pockets, snap without thinking, and barely notice it at all.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including art made during the first stock market crash, a homage to feline friends, and the 10-year anniversary of a crucial public art initiative.
Astrid Dick was told that she could not paint stripes because Sean Scully and Frank Stella have done so before her, a patently foolish statement.
Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief, is one of the guest jurors reviewing applications for the two-month residency in Utica, New York.
Paddy Johnson answers your questions about art fairs, visibility, and frustrating studio visits.
The 26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival’s Philippines retrospective highlights early documentation of the country, local responses to the Marcos dictatorship, and contemporary work.
Hear a band of improvisers led by Rajna Swaminathan and a performance of Morton Feldman’s “For John Cage” in programs inspired by the exhibition, “New York: 1962-1964.”
The country music legend says the museum will be part of a “Dolly Center.”
Herzog and de Meuron’s design for the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin has been accused of poor energy efficiency and called a “structural nightmare.”
From residencies, fellowships, and workshops to grants, open calls, and commissions, our monthly list of opportunities for artists, writers, and art workers.
Looking for some holiday gift inspiration? We’ve got you covered with this roundup of accessories, games, and more that have been flying off the shelf this season.
SCAD’s booth at Design Miami/ features glazed tiles by alumni artists Nicolas Barrera, Lauren Clay, Gonzalo Hernandez, Cory Imig, Abel Macias, and Nikita Nagpal.
Plaintiff Cheri Pierson accuses the disgraced financier of a “brutal” sexual attack at the Manhattan mansion of Jeffrey Epstein.
At the heart of What if the Matriarchy Was Here All Along? is the idea that matriarchy never really died but rather has transformed.