Blog

Screening

Mine Eats City projection in Perpignan

Mine Eats City evening screening 31 Aug. 2016

Visa pour l’Image festival
Campo Santo
Perpignan
France

 

High in Peru’s Andes mountains sits Cerro de Pasco, a 400-year old city which is being devoured from its very center by an expanding open-pit mine.

The two months that I lived in Cerro de Pasco—meeting it’s lead-poisoned children and surveying the wounded land—often felt like I was living in parable. Everyone in the city knew that the dragon was eating it’s own tail, slowly consuming it’s wealth, along with the health of the mine workers, their friends and families.

Neighborhoods near the open-pit are on the verge of being swallowed. Heaps of mine tailings laced with lead are continually deposited next to playgrounds and schools. People walk for hours for access to clean water or dip into tainted industrial pipelines for their washing.

Since the mine is central to the city’s economy, few people want it to be completely shut down. What they want is for the Volcan mining company to conduct their operations responsibly.

Group show

Bending the Frame at Copenhagen Fotografisk Center

Bending the Frame group exhibition 26 August to 23 October, 2016

featuring Blue Sky Days

FOTOGRAFISK CENTER
Bygning 55
Staldgade 16
1699 København V
Copenhagen
Danmark

What do we want from this media revolution? Not just where is it bringing us – where do we want to go? When the pixels start to settle, where do we think we should be in relationship to media – as producers, subjects, viewers? Since all media inevitably change us, how do we want to be changed?  —Fred Ritchin

Fred Ritchin’s book, Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture, 2013), forms the basis for the exhibition. In an era when there is growing skepticism about the conventional media, the idea is to present strategies from documentary photography and photojournalism that, when combined with contemporary art practices, “bend the frame” with the intention of creating greater social impact and a wider discussion that may then lead to helpful social change.

The exhibition presents a mix of older and newer pictures, photography and video, that stands out from the enormous media stream of billions of images; photographs that make a difference and can help to pave the way for new thoughts and ideas. Poised between documentary and art photography, the exhibition looks at contemporary developments in media as offering enormous potentials for greater expression and involvement.

After opening in Copenhagen, the exhibition will be shown in Oslo and Stockholm. (Dates to come)

Solo show

Blue Sky Days at Les Ateliers de Couthures in France

Blue Sky Days solo exhibition 29 to 31 July, 2016

LIVE Magazine talk on 29 July at 8:00pm

• Projection and artist talk on 31 July at 6:00pm

Les Ateliers de Couthures
Festival International du Journalisme Vivant
Couthures
France

In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey.”

With my camera attached to a small drone, I traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, and the US-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy and war.

Publication: Leica M Magazine, Overshadowed by the Mine

Leica’s M Magazine published my Mine Eats City series in their Spring 2016 issue. The series is about a city in danger of disappearing. High in the Andes mountains, a mine that once supplied the Spanish Crown with silver is now poisoning the 70,000 inhabitants of Cerro de Pasco, eating away at the very earth beneath their feet. An interview about the story which…  read more.

Solo show

Blue Sky Days in Toronto

Blue Sky Days solo exhibition 1 – 31 May  *extended to 9 June, 2016

Nikola Rukaj Gallery
Contact Photography Festival
Toronto
Canada

 

In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey.”

With my camera attached to a small drone, I traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, and the US-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy and war.

New gallery representation in New York City

  I’m pleased to announce that I’m now represented by the Anastasia Photo Gallery in New York. This news follows the acquisition of my prints by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (MoCP) and by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art a few months ago. Anastasia Photo is open weekly from Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM – 7PM. You can visit them at: 143 Ludlow St.…  read more.

Review: Photograph Magazine, Blue Sky Days

Photograph Magazine, a bi-monthly and online publication for photo curators, collectors, dealers and critics featured the Schoolyard image from my Blue Sky Days series in their Jan/Feb 2016 issue. Below is an excerpt from the article by Jordan G. Teicher, which is titled The Shifting Borders of Photojournalism and Fine Art Photography: “Disturbed by the lack of a visual record of America’s drone…  read more.

Publication: Mine Eats City in National Geographic

My photo story about a 400-year old Peruvian city being devoured by an open-pit mine was published on Dec. 2 by National Geographic. I spent two months in the high Andes city of Cerro de Pasco documenting the wounded land and poisoned children effected by irresponsible mining practices. The mine is run by Volcan and its local subsidiary Cerro SAC.…  read more.

Group show

To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare

Group exhibition featuring Blue Sky Days 29 Jan. to 24 April, 2016

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Skinker & Forsyth Boulevards
St. Louis, MO 63130
USA

Summary:

We are in the dawn of the drone age, a turning point in history when the technology of surveillance and remote engagement is changing the way we live and understand the world. Over the past decade, the United States and other countries have increasingly resorted to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), colloquially known as drones, as part of a global network of image gathering and data collection employed to monitor collective life and target individuals. As drones redefine contemporary policing and warfare, their impact is filtering into art and visual culture, generating new investigations into issues of agency, power, visibility, technology, and fear.

To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare presents an international array of contemporary artworks that engage with the geopolitical aspects of drone warfare and surveillance. Comprising video, sculpture, installation, photography, and web-based projects, the artworks in this exhibition raise fundamental questions about undeclared wars, increasingly invisible and seamless military technologies, undeterred surveillance, and the amassing of data. Works by Tomas van Houtryve, James Bridle, Harun Farocki, Trevor Paglen, and Hito Steyerl, among others, offer keen deliberations on these topics.

The exhibition is cocurated by Svea Bräunert, a Berlin-based scholar in media and cultural studies, and Meredith Malone, associate curator.

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