DROP OUT OF ART SCHOOL (Photobook)
Drop Out of Art School
In the age of mobile photography, pushing a button digitally transforms an original picture into one of manufactured nostalgia. An artificial time passage is applied by simulating a physical-chemical process relating to a film emulsion that is increasingly in short supply. We have yet to comprehend how future generations will view our vernacular snapshots and their attempts to understand will undoubtedly be challenged by a disjointed reality portrayed through the human construct of aged pictures. We may learn that Instagram photos are as true as those imposed sentiments written in a Hallmark card - real feelings though not produced with our own words. But as with any modern day convenience, they are available for a price. The card at Wal-Mart is only 99 cents. The App is free so long as you share your personal information. 'Drop Out of Art School' is an impermanent look at the changing Mt Pleasant/Fairview neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Canada. Within the time of a month, I photographed the area while on routine errands with a used and gifted iPhone. This neighbourhood, which is where my family calls home, is also the city's political seat and is home to City Hall and a flux of new big box stores. As the residents of Mt Pleasant/Fairview, and also Vancouver, face intensifying transformative pressures, the project takes a snapshot of the community as our mayor strives to make this former Olympic host and "Most Livable City" also the Greenest City in the World by 2020. Just as the neighbourhood continues to evolve, though arguably over longer timeframes, this project continued to do so. It has aged and some pictures disappeared altogether, like those delaminating from the insides of your parents' family photo albums.
"I got a copy a few weeks ago -- after several slow reads I've formed my impression. Sometimes I think not much is new in street photography -- it seems everything has been photographed and the limits of visual language have been completely explored. If one stretched just the 35mm film shot on the streets of New York end to end that reel would go to the sun and back. When I look at John's photographs it seems perhaps something is new--he finds the strange immanence lurking under the everyday world without resorting to any of the tricks visually literate viewers already know. This able archaeology of every day surfaces is worth following."