Twitter Geolocation Inspires a Poignant Photography Series
Just in time for summer vacation, artists Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman present an exhibition to reconsider the notion of the “getaway” in contemporary life. “Geolocation,” now open at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana, presents the artists’ collaborative works, primarily in the form of photography, which examine psychological and physical distances in relation to the social networks of digital culture.
For their “Geolocation” series, the duo combed through Twitter feeds, approaching them as archives, in search for communications that reflected relatable personal feelings linked to physical observations or predicaments—in other words, site-specific expressions. After tracking the publicly available, embedded GPS information from select messages, Larson and Shindelman travelled to and documented the geographical site of each broadcast, eventually printing photographs of the locations—often sparse, forlorn rural and suburban landscapes, absent of people—annotated by the original tweets.
In Worth the Wait (2011), puddles on rough concrete behind a white-shingled motel reflect a bright sky, even though the streetlights are lit for evening. A lone red coupe in the parking lot carries the emotional weight of the rhetorical plea: “Tell me I’m not making a mistake. Tell me you’re worth the wait. #fb.” For Money Pigs (2011), the cynical despair of an addled consumer—“Cars are nothing but money pigs #hateit #waitingsucks #impoor”—pairs incongruously with the auto shop’s neat typographic signage, glowing blood orange after hours and announcing: “parts & service.” The ethereal fog obscuring the surface of a river in Gun Shot (2011) is pierced by sarcasm: “Pretty sure I just heard a gun shot lol.” Mapping the distance between author and audience, and even between author and environment, Larson and Shindelman poignantly probe the dislocation of digital intimacy from physical place.
“Geolocation by Nate Larson + Marni Shindelman” is on view at Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, Indiana, June 6th–Aug. 30th, 2014.
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