Hey, you know what’s not actually a new thing and that people can all stop going crazy about? Having a phone on your camera. I mean, my phone cost £11.99 and it’s got a fucking camera on it. Getting excited about having a camera on your phone is a bit like getting excited about having a takeaway coffee or playing a song off your laptop. It ain’t no thing.
Still, half the adverts I see on TV are for cameras and phones with cameras on them. There’s usually a smiling mum photographing her snowboarding child in the ultra zoom and capturing their soul in a Twitpic forever, and we’re all being told we should be doing this. We’re told that life is passing us by and that if we don’t take pictures of every banal moment in our lives – like Guy Pearce in Memento – these moments will be lost to us forever. It’s like we’re being told not to trust our own memories.
This article is by Claire Lontis and is cross-posted from Base Magazine.
Evan Baden’s Technically Intimate seeks to convey how technology has depersonalised how we interact with our partners, including the advent of a worldwide audience.
Starting the body of work in 2008, Baden’s premise is this; to observe and display how “the Internet was changing how youth culture viewed sex, intimacy, and privacy”. It is not uncommon to have, among a circle of friends, a few who have been made a fool of after an intimate self-taken photo intended for their significant other has been circulated once the relationship turned sour. Baden stumbled across websites which paid for such photos. “I began to find many sites that trafficked in sexually charged and explicit images that had been taken by young women and sent to a second person, most presumably a boyfriend. These images then somehow ended up on the Internet for the world to see. And what’s more, the images seem to move from one site to the next, spreading like a virus across the web”.
A current display in the Contemporary Art Gallery has raised a few eyebrows and aroused possibly more than just a little curiosity. The exhibit “Technically Intimate” by photographer Evan Baden features images of young adult women in the nude, re-enacting the poses of adult film stars in innocent and private spaces. The idea is to explore and exploit the fact that more and more young women are redefining intimacy by mimicking what they see in social media and on the web. The exhibit has sexually-charged images involving young women with cell phones, digital cameras and webcams.
An interview I did during my commission. This was done during a break from shooting in Eugene, Oregon.
This summer I was extremely busy. In addition to trying to make new work, I was also on commission for Datalogic, a company based in Bologna, Italy but that has factories and distribution sites around the world. They asked me, for their 40th anniversary, to travel around the world to a number of their factories and photograph their workers, with the end product being a book.
I traveled for 8 weeks and on three continents photographing several hundred of the people that I found most interesting. The book was printed in October and I was back in Bologna for the release. I thought I would share a few of the images from the commission below the fold.
I accepted the offer and at the time thought that it was only a four person show, since there were only three or artists listed on the website for the show. However, a few months ago, when the final press release was issued for the show, I found out that a number of excellent artists, as well as a number of people whose work I admire, were also in the show. It was of even greater surprise when the Schirn decided to use two of my images for the invitation and exhibition poster. It was at that point that I decided to come to the opening.
This will be an exciting week for me. A few months ago I was asked by Cristiana Perrella, a curator hired by the Fondazione Marino Golinelli, to participate in a show revolving around how man has been shaped by the world around him. The show will be titled From 0 to 100. The New Ages of Life. The show will be the third in a series of shows that focus on how the world has shaped human beings. The show will be a combination of art and science, two disciplines that I think actually have a lot in common. Included in the show will be some of the biggest artists around, and I am really excited to be included. Some of the artists included are Cindy Sherman, Ryan McGinley, Guy Ben-Ner, Nan Goldin, Rineke Dijkstra, Louise Bourgeios, John Pilson, Martin Creed, Hans Peter Feldmann, Stefania Galegati, Ottonella Mocellin, Nicola Pellegrini, Gabriel Orozco, Adrian Paci, and Miwa Yanagi. There will also be a catalog with the show.
A while back, I was asked to come and give a lecture about my more recent work at Brazil’s largest photo festival, Paraty Em Foco. The festival is in it’s seventh year, and much of the photo world in Brazil has begun gathering there each year. There were also a number of international guests including Pieter Hugo, Olivia Arthur, and Penelope Umbrico.
PENELOPE UMBRICO’S WORK
I flew there last Wednesday. It is my first time flying south, which is odd because there was almost no time change (or jet-lag), which was welcome. I landed in Sao Paulo and then it was a nice 5 hour drive through the jungle to the costal town of Paraty. I am told it is one of the oldest settlements in Brazil and one of the most beautiful.
TALKING ABOUT MY WORK
The opening of Generation NEXT went really well. MIAD wanted to do a small lecture series in conjunction with the show. So on Tuesday night I was back in Milwaukee to talk about the work I have been making, and the work I am planning to make while here. It was a small gathering in the gallery.
The nicer part of the evening was after the talk. MIAD students wrote small essays about why they wanted to come out to dinner with me after the talk. Six were selected and off we went. It was actually the best part of the night. We were at dinner for a few hours and there were lots and lots of questions asked, both about my work, my professional life, and why I was returning to school and what that was like. Sometimes answering those types of questions for others helps me formulate my own thoughts.