Spread, Part IV – George Legrady + Angus Forbes

Photo by: Dorothy Santos

I’ve heard that anybody can be a photographer these days. I’m sure you’ve heard this as well.

From SLRs to point-and-shoots to our mobile phones, people with mobile devices have the ability to make anyone a photographer. Inevitably, this leads to artists having to re-construct and re-purpose such a medium. Anyone can take a picture but how does an artist show, through photography, elements of how we live, who we interact with, and how we know things through contemporary photography?

The photo above was taken while I was traipsing around my girlfriend’s apartment complex backyard. It’s, literally, an insane collection of discarded toys and plastic artifacts. I took pictures and ended up saving them on my phone thinking that I could, possibly, order a print (yes, from my phone, I still think that’s pretty unbelievable myself) if I was inclined. Either way, it was a way for me to record what couldn’t easily be described with words.

Before opening night of the Spread show, the OFFSpace Curatorial team sent a message to their distribution list encouraging individuals to contribute a photo that would be utilized in the Cell Tango (2010) piece by George Legrady and his selected artist Angus Forbes. The collaborative work involved sending a picture to an e-mail created specifically for the show, excluding text in the body of the e-mail, but adding one word descriptors or “tags” of the image in the subject line. When I submitted the above, my tag was “monster”. During the artist panel discussion, I stood in anticipation for my picture to appear. Eventually I saw my “monster” photo grouped with other photos. Legrady explained to audience that the photos sent by the audience were connected and streamed with Flickr photos with the same tags within the community. In Cell Tango, Legrady and Forbes showed the intersections of language and image and our collective understanding of objects and things and even ideas!

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, networked culture, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently the managing editor for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the De Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” has been published to The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Digital Art and New Media department.

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