January 20, 2021

Larson Shindelman

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts at the College of Charleston

Larson Shindelman, Geolocation: Have My Location?, 2011. Archival pigment print, 24 x 20 inches.

Larson Shindelman, Geolocation: Gun Shot, 2011. Archival pigment print, 24 x 20 inches.

Larson Shindelman, #Mobilize (Black Girls are Enough), 2018. Archival pigment print, 30 x 40 inches.

Larson Shindelman, Geolocation: Worth the Wait, 2011. Archival pigment print, 24 x 20 inches.

Larson Shindelman, #Mobilize (Haunting Shadow), 2018. Archival pigment print, 30 x 40 inches.

Exploring the connection between text and images, digital and analog, and private versus public.

Artists talk: January 21, 7–8pm
Larson Shindelman and curator Bryan Granger will talk about their exhibition and art-making process. Online here.

Maps, Politics, and Graphic Design: February 4, 7–8pm
Graphic designer Scott Reinhard will discuss how he uses design to tell stories. Online here.

The Technologies of the Everyday : February 18, 7–8pm
College of Charleston faculty discuss how technologies have permeated media, politics, arts. Online here.

Curator-led tour for members: March 4, 7–8pm
Open to all membership levels. Via Zoom, RSVP to halseyRSVP [​at​]

Geolocation presents two series of works by artist duo Larson Shindelman, Geolocation and #Mobilize. They use publicly accessible geographic data from tweets and track down specific locations where Twitter users were when they posted on social media. Once there, the artists make a photograph from the location, connecting the tweet—stored on a remote server and readable around the globe—and the physical world. This body of work explores the connection between text and images, digital and analog, and private versus public.

Artist statement from Larson Shindelman:

“We use publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.

Twitter estimates there are over 550 million tweets daily, creating a new level of digital noise. Clive Thompson uses the term ambient awareness to describe this incessant online contact in the New York Times Magazine article, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.” According to Thompson, “It is... very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does—body language, sighs, stray comments—out of the corner of your eye.” Our collaborative work is a means for situating this virtual communication in the physical realm. We imagine ourselves as virtual flâneurs, ethnographers of the Internet, exploring cities 140 characters at a time through the lives of others.”

Recently, Larson Shindelman have continued their Geolocation methods while using tweets that contain specific hashtags that reference ongoing struggles around social and racial justice. In a series called #Mobilize, the photographers seek out tweets with hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter, #sayhername, #takeaknee, and #metoo. Such hashtags have defined spaces within Twitter where activists can make their voices heard. Larson Shindelman’s #Mobilize series helps to conflate ideas of online versus offline activism. In many of the images presented in #Mobilize, the locations are often quiet neighborhood streets and rural grassy fields—in contrast to scenes of protests on city streets commonly shared by the media. The resulting effect shows the breadth of activism occurring outside the protests that gain notoriety in the news media. Using specific hashtags, users can connect themselves to various protest movements no matter where they are. People browsing these hashtags can access streams of tweets connected to given issues—tweets from people located all around the world, all collected in one place. Such is one of the utopian promises of the internet—the idea of a highly connected society where all are equal. The works in the #Mobilize series reinforce this idea, showing that people from all over can join in with specific protests. They, along with the Geolocation series, show that our online lives may not be so distinct from our offline lives after all.

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