The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery presents Diverging Mediums: Photography versus iPhoneography, which opens on May 10 and runs through May 31, 2012. The exhibition examines the shifting role of iPhoneography in our culture and its impact on the nature and definition of art. The nineteen selected artists include photographers from the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, Multiple Exposures Gallery, and P1xels, an iPhone-photography group based in Berkeley, California: Jim Sterling, Maureen Minehan, Min Enghauser, Craig Steele, Michael Borek, Pete McCutchen, Karen Keating, Fran Livaditis, Elodie Hunting, Hans Borghorst, Paul Moore, Maia Panos, Therese Brown, Butow Maler, Jose Chavarry, Glenn Homann, Ramona Gillentine, James Clarke, and Knox Bronson.
When: May 10 – May 31, 2012; Reception: May 10, 6-8PM
Where: Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
The show aims to raise discussion on iPhoneography, a movement that, some would argue, is transitioning from solely a social media into a fine-art form of its own right. The show juxtaposes fifteen digital or film photographs of established fine-art photographers with fifteen iPhoneographs, the majority of which comes from P1xels, a photo group based in California that is using the iPhone as their chosen vehicle of self-expression and creation. The pieces from the two groups were chosen to either highlight the strengths of its medium or to demonstrate the lingering overlap between them. The future for iPhoneography, however, seems to hinge not upon attempting to mimic classical photography, but on introducing and establishing the medium’s unique offerings to the art world.
This exhibition was curated by Hiji Nam, as part of her internship project for the Target Gallery. Ms. Nam is an undergraduate student from the University of Maryland, College Park, majoring in art history and government and politics. The inspiration for the exhibit stemmed from the contemporary phenomenon of artistic democracy, part of which stems from smart phones and the multitude of photo-enhancement applications. For Ms. Nam, this modern phenomenon calls into question what one can and cannot call “art.” Are the people behind the “Capture” button on iPhones “artists”? What does the advent of technology and the resulting influx of images mean for photography and art? Does the fact that they are so easily created, recreated, copied, distributed, and discarded take away from their beauty or impact? How relevant is the process of creation to the quality of the final product? What is the distinction between “picture” and “fine-art photography,” and if we cannot agree upon a fixed definition and jurisdiction for each, does such a distinction exist at all? Ms. Nam hopes the exhibit will raise these questions and discussions to its visitors, who will observe the images presented and render their own verdicts on iPhoneography.