alteredstates/alteredscapes

Submitted by Natalie Christensen

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Client: Peckham Levels

Location: London, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $15,000

Project Team

Artist

Natalie Christensen

Natalie Christensen Contemporary Photography

Artist

Jim Eyre

Overview

For this installation: images were printed on Fly poster and wheat-pasted. Peckham Levels, a southeast London creative hub exists to showcase cultural talent at work, and to create affordable workspace for artists and entrepreneurs. This constantly evolving space houses amazing food and drink from independent traders, regular events and exhibitions, and some of South London's most exciting artists and independent businesses working in design, fashion and music.

Goals

alteredstates/alteredscapes is a collaborative photography project from Natalie Christensen (Santa Fe, NM) and Jim Eyre (London, UK) that positions any city or venue as the physical location from which to engage a global audience, using Instagram to explore and distribute the project’s ideas. The project is comprised of a site-specific exterior wheat paste mural, and digital display via a website and public Instagram feed. Referencing a 1980’s horror film in which the main character gets lost in visual dreamscapes via sensory deprivation experiments, alteredstates/alteredscapes aims to make public and visible the psychological impact of sharing and viewing art on social media.
Christensen and Eyre met over Instagram and initiated a collaboration based on their shared ambivalence of using the social media platform to view and share contemporary photography. alteredstates/alteredscapes was born from the artists’ main question: Is the unrelenting momentum of the virtual space stifling their creativity or, conversely, are they becoming better artists by the pressure to produce and compete for recognition on the digital stage?

Process

The project is comprised of composite photography of New Mexico and London. To create the final images, the artists began passing their respective photographs—shots of their urban surroundings—back and forth via Instagram direct message. At each turn, the artists digitally cropped, collaged, or otherwise altered the images, shaping them by trial and error, layer upon layer. As a result, the images contain familiar tropes yet are oddly disorienting— architectural fragments and street elements meld together to present multiple points of view and subtle combinations of perspectives on a single visual plane, representing a malleable psychological experience. The artists willingly created these artworks through a laborious, tedious, rigorous process to share with a global audience, knowing that those who view them will do so in a split second and dispose of them with a flick of their thumb.

Additional Information

A collaborative photography project from Natalie Christensen (Santa Fe, NM) and Jim Eyre (London, UK) that positions London as the physical location from which to engage a global audience, using Instagram to explore and distribute the project’s ideas. This incarnation of alteredstates/alteredscapes is hosted by Peckham Levels, a grass roots initiative by Southwalk Council which supports creativity in South London.