It’s now 6 weeks since FORMAT11 ended. It took a while for everyone at ASA Collective and Wideyed to get over Mapping the Flâneur (it was a lot of hard work!), and then start digesting the experience…
Over the month that Mapping the Flâneur took place, 97 photographers from 20 collectives around the world contributed just over 700 of their images to the installation project. 700 images in a month might not seem like a lot in a world where thousands of pictures are uploaded to online image sharing sites every minute. But when you’re processing 700 images, publishing them with credits and captions to a tumblr site and sending them to print in a gallery, all one by one, believe us, it’s a lot. And at the end of the exhibition, we discovered we’d used 5 rolls of 40m long paper, totalling 200m, for the installation. Those are big prints.
As part of the application process for ACE G4TA grants, there’s a section dedicated to evaluation – ACE ask how you plan to monitor the progress of your work from start to finish, and consider its potential impact beyond. When you first start considering this, the most obvious measurements of achievement are quantifiable things like the numbers of visitors to the exhibition, press clippings and web hits; for example, based on the figures supplied to us by FORMAT, we estimate that 2,500-2,700 people saw Mapping the Flâneur in Derby. After that, there are things like written comments and word-of-mouth feedback, evaluation forms and SWOT analyses…
But it also occurred to us that, at the close of the exhibition, a large number and variety of images would have been received, and the potential to successfully re-curate these into another object – another exhibition, say – would be the most interesting measure of the quality of the project.
And that’s exactly what we’re about to attempt.
This is the gallery in Newcastle where we’ll be re-exhibiting Mapping the Flâneur – or Re:Mapping the Flâneur. The gallery is part of Newcastle Arts Centre, which 100 years ago was a department store, and the arched ceiling is a restored original feature. Given that the piece of work we’ll be exhibiting there was directly inspired by Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’, the fact that we’ll be using a space that not only looks like an arcade but was also used as a commercial space like one, is fantastic.
And this is roughly how we plan to use that space. Although the gallery is large, it’s nowhere near big enough to display five 40m long prints, so we’ll exhibit the best parts of three, and with these try to give an impression of the lengths of the prints and the scale of the original project they were produced in. The index card filing cabinet we used in the Collectives Encounter exhibition will make a reappearance, and we’ll also produce a 13m long print, especially for this show, as a means of introducing some context (information about the Derby installation, the photographers that took part and their collectives, and so on).
In addition, our collaboration with ASA Collective continues, as we’re working to transform all the images we received into something that can be screened or projected. Our hope is that any of the other collectives involved in this project can then take ownership of this piece, by showing it themselves if they wish. That they might take it for a walk…
The exhibition will run from 14th – 26th June 2011 at Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road, NE1 1SG
6pm onwards on Friday 24th June, the projection piece being created for this exhibition will be screened at a special event, timed to coincide with Sunderland University’s ‘The Versatile Image: Photography in the Era of Web 2.0‘.
We hope to see you there!
M. Scott Brauer and Matt Lutton started Dvafoto in 2005 as blog that showed two pictures, one from each photographer, side by side. It was a place where we could publish our pictures that would be seen in no other outlet; our audience was mostly our friends and maybe a bit of the public that wandered past. Sometime around 2008 we decided that we had more to say that just our own pictures would allow and wanted to share some of the stories and work we were seeing around the internet and changed the format to what we have now. Our goal is to share the pictures and stories that we find interesting, coming from the perspective of two young working photojournalists. Sometimes we’ll have a stronger opinion on something in the news (industry or international) and we’ll focus on that. Other times we’ll share our experiences living and working outside the normal spheres. Overall we’ve had a great response for this project, it has become a resource for the industry and those interested in what documentary photographers are talking about.
Since the beginning, when we were two college photographers just starting out of Seattle and in New York, we’ve had the idea of working together on projects but it for one reason or another has never come together. The Dvafoto project today is mostly a conduit for sharing stories and news that isn’t created by us, but our perspective and also our work will always be the backbone of the collective. For years we have been living in far corners of the world (for Scott, first China and now Boston, for Lutton, Belgrade, Serbia) yet we’ve been able to maintain and grow our project. This is hugely interesting and rewarding, and helps underscore the advantages of modern means of communication and sharing on the web. It also makes us very energetic for what the future might bring.
The ‘Mapping the Flanuer’ project is the closest we’ve come to a joint photographic project and we’re thankful for this opportunity and motivation. We are discussing some other ideas now, and are looking forward to future collaborative projects. A story that we could both photograph, with our own voices and contributing from our particular locations, would be amazing. Someday soon we hope.
Matt Lutton recently graduated from the University of Washington and is continuing his long term personal projects in The Balkans from his studio in Belgrade, Serbia.
M Scott Brauer recently returned to the United States after three years of work in China and is transitioning towards many opportunities in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Publications are pursuing our projects and we are eager to share our work with broader audiences in the coming days. Our partnership is codifying in an exciting way. Watch our work and our writing and keep your tabs on emerging international photojournalism.
Dreamboats Collective is a photo agency specializing in fine art and editorial work. The collective was founded in 2008 by Adam Golfer, Joe Leavenworth, TJ Proechel and Daniel Shea, four friends who attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. Originally, DBC began as an image blog and “studio space,” for the members to keep abreast of one another’s personal projects and professional assignments. The website has since expanded to provide comprehensive portfolios by each artist in the collective. It continues to host the group blog, and promote affordable print editions, new thematic features, and exhibition news. In 2010 Dreamboats Collective expanded with the addition of a new fifth member, Jake Stangel. The five members run the project collaboratively and are based across the U.S. in New York, Chicago, and Portland.
* Dreamboats Collective is taking part in ’Mapping the Flâneur’ by ASA Collective and Wideyed at FORMAT11
Adam Golfer will have a solo exhibition of his project, kin* at the Goethe Institut in Washington, DC in May of 2011.www.adamgolfer.com adamgolfer.tumblr.com
Joe Leavenworth continues to pursue editorial assignments in New York and is creating artist books of his recent projects, Late Night Boys and Lou’s Dodge.
TJ Proechel is finishing a print sale to fund a new project which will take him from St. Paul, Minnesota to Huntington Beach, California this Spring.www.tjproechel.com tjproechel.tumblr.com
Daniel Shea will be traveling to Switzerland in July of 2011 for a solo exhibition of his projects Plume and Removing Mountains.www.dsheaphoto.net www.dsheaphoto.net/blog dsheaphoto.tumblr.com
Jake Stangel is back in the Northwest, working on several new projects from recent travels, while continuing to photograph for clients such as Monocle, DWELL, Inc, Rapha, Men’s Health, and Wall Street Journal.www.jakestangel.com toomuchchocolate.org Dreamboats Collective
On 28th February, ASA Collective and Wideyed arrived in Derby and spent the next eight days there installing and then starting to run Mapping the Flâneur.
So, what’s it like?
And how does it work?
Well… firstly, we download in chronological order the images people have emailed to us, and one-by-one we check they’re the right size, in the right colour space, and whether they have the photographers’ details embedded in the metadata. We then save them in a dated folder, adding numerical order and theme info to the file name, after which they can be uploaded to the mapping-flaneur.tumblr.com site. Following that, the images are transferred to a pre-prepared photoshop template according to the theme they’re a response to (so they’re in the correct position on the roll paper), and sent to print in the gallery.
There’s about 7m worth of paper visible in the installation, with 30-35 printed images viewable at any time. Since the exhibition opened on 3rd March, we’ve been receiving 30-ish new images everyday, which is also roughly the number we can manage to process and print while the gallery is open to the public (11am-5pm Monday-Saturday, 12noon-4pm Sunday). This is working out really well, as it means that every image that’s sent to us is on view in the exhibition for at least one working day, and every day there’s a whole new set of printed images for visitors to see.
In a previous blog post, we said we were considering installing a second printer in the gallery, to print doubles of all the images on 3”x5” index card sized paper. It was a lovely idea, but it turned out to be impractical. That said, all the images are still being separately printed in this smaller size each day, but it’s being done at home in London by ASA Collective’s Armando Ribiero, and he’s then snailmailing the prints to Derby* so they can be placed in the index card filing cabinet in the gallery. In this way, even after the images on the roll paper have disappeared from view, they will still all be viewable in the index card filing cabinet. Well, that’s the theory… in practice, visitors to the exhibition seem to be taking these little prints away as souvenirs! Which is kind of flattering?
In a way, what we’re making is a set of giant scroll form books (like this by Masao Yamamoto [via The Space In Between]. As the exhibition is being ‘curated’ by the chronological order in which the images arrive by email, it’s been fascinating to see the correspondences between them that are being produced entirely by chance.
We hope the little film above helps give an idea of what Mapping the Flâneur is like.
*We have someone in Derby keeping an eye on things for us there – thank you Rosie! We’ll tell you more about Rosie later in the month.
Collectives Encounter is curated by Yasmina Reggad, the director of Photo Festivals. It will consist of five interventions by six photography collectives: ASA, Human Endeavour, The Photography Collective, Vea Collective, Wideyed, and special guest collective Rawiya.
Collectives Encounter 2011 has a blog on which the six participating photo collectives will be sharing their creative processes in the run up to ‘The Flâneur‘, the collective exhibition that will showcase four especially commissioned artworks by ASA & Wideyed, The Photography Collective, Vea-Collective and Rawiya, plus Human Endeavour‘s existing ‘Degeneration’ series.
There are several things about this exhibition commission that are particularly interesting and exciting for us. The opportunity that Yasmina has given us to collaborate closely with ASA’s photographers Armando Ribeiro, Arun Nangla and Srinivas Kuruganti, is fantastic. As for Yasmina herself, this is the first time any of us at Wideyed have really worked with a curator and it’s proving to be a brilliant experience.
And ‘Mapping the Flâneur‘ is the title of the exhibition we’ve been commissioned to produce with ASA. We’ll all be talking about it more as we work out the details. Stay tuned.