John Fahey
In a new exhibition at the RISD Museum of Art called America in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now, curator Jan Howard takes stock of the history of American landscape images, and the ways that photographers have revealed the complexities of american society, politics and economics through their examinations of the natural and built environments across the united states.
Over ten years filmmaker Ben Shapiro followed photographer Gregory Crewdson, documenting his film-sized photo productions in Western Massachusetts. In his new documentary Gregory Crewdson Brief Encounters Shapiro takes us behind the scenes on Crewdson's obsessively constructed sets and inside the artist's creative process.
Photographer Emil Hartvig is based in Copenhagen, but recently he came to the United States and traveled through the Midwest to photograph the Prepper movement. Preppers subscribe to an extreme kind of disaster preparedness. They're not setting aside a few bottles of water or a flashlight in case the power goes out. Preppers are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Whether its economic collapse, civil unrest, or a biological or nuclear attack, the Prepper movement is all about having the means to be self sufficient and protect yourself when the shit hits the fan.
That's Jenny Vogel, she's a new media artist working in video, photography, printmaking, performance and installation. Jenny is interested in the world as seen through communication technology --- web cameras, morse code, fax machines --- and the way we use these technologies to overcome distance, alienation and loneliness. The work exposes the glitches and limitations of these technologies as well as the resulting misrepresentations and miscommunications between the individuals who use them. Jenny is especially interested in the video feeds from web cameras that are placed in city centers and people homes all around the world. They broadcast ghostly pictures of places that seem to be devoid of human activity, and Jenny uses images from these broadcasts to construct her own narratives in her videos and prints. Jenny also has an ongoing interest in Sibera, a place she says, "does not officially exist." Her experimental documentary called in Search of the Silent Land, takes us on a trip along the Trans Siberian Railroad, and explores the myths and mental geography of the vast and remote landmass. Jenny Vogel grew up in Germany, and came to the US to study art and has been living here ever since. She is currently an Assistant Professor of New Media Art at the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, and her work is on view now at the Schneider Museum of Art, at Southern Oregon University. This week I spoke with Jenny over the phone about her interest in web cams, her trip through Siberia, and a new piece involving a chandelier and morse code.