Oranbeg NET 5

Oranbeg Press, an awesome independent publisher based between Boston and Brooklyn, is currently doing a call out for the fifth installment of their NET series. For those who don’t know, Oranbeg Net is a series of online group exhibitions hosted by Oranbeg Press, that features different themes and curators that always results in unique and visually charged exhibitions. Empty Stretch was thrilled to be asked to curate the fourth NET series titled, I Fear For My Safety, which you can check out here, and we’re just as excited for the newest endeavor titled, Bastards, curated by Colin Todd and Michael Vahrenwald. Check out the prompt and guidelines below.

Bastards
Prompt: Send us your bastards, your immaculate receptions, your autonomous…

(please respond to the image)

Submissions due April 25th, 2014 at midnight.
Please submit to Oranbegpress@gmail.com up to 5 images for consideration (sRGB, JPG, 2000 pixels). Send as a ZIP file. Also please include: Title, Series (if relevant) and your web url.

Papersafe

Papersafe Issue #01: “Sage” / March 2014 / Edition of 75

Papersafe is the newest curatorial and publication project of long time favorite, Trevor Powers and CatLABS. Their first issue titled “Sage” was a two-part publication featuring a 44 page softcover book with photographs by Adam Neese and Erin Shipley, and writings by Alex Sinclair and Carl Gunhouse that also came with a small 24 page zine insert featuring 28 photographers. This gem is already sold out after a successful kickstarter campaign, but they’re already working on their second issue titled “Keepers of the Dark,” which invites all current and former lab techs, studio, equipment, or darkroom managers and staff  to enter. We have a good feeling about this one, so check out their submission guidelines below and make sure to enter before the deadline; April 30th!

ISSUE TWO CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!
Keepers of the Dark: For it’s second issue, Papersafe is seeking film-based photographic work created by lab techs, studio, equipment, or darkroom managers and staff - past and present - whether at a university, community darkroom, commercial studio, or your local photo lab.

The deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2014 at midnight. There is no subject, style, or theme restrictions.

Image and submission specifications:
Submit up to 10 images
JPEG format, 2000px on the short side, at 300dpi
Label the files with your name and numeration (Example: firstname_lastname_01.jpg)
Send in a ZIP folder or via wetransfer.com to papersafe@catlabs.info

In the email be sure to include:
Image titles, statement (if applicable), website url, and short bio
Answers to the following questions:
1. Where do/did you work?
2. How has your time there informed, influenced or shifted your own practice?

Feature: Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson’s website is cryptic, with little information or direction. No titles or series names, but he’s allowed to, because his photos are really good. He seamlessly weaves between urban and rural landscapes, switching from abstract and obscure to definitive and right back again. He has a great eye behind the camera, as well as in his sequencing. See a selection of photographs below and make sure to check out his website for more photographs.

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Please find more of Brandon’s work on his website.

Feature: Matthew Swarts

If you’ve been following us for a bit now, you’ve probably heard Matthew Swarts‘ name before. His work has been featured on here before as well as almost everything we’ve done over the past year, including Petty Thieves Four. His photographs have an eery painterly quality and leave the viewer asking questions, rather than leaving with any answers. He recently sent us over some of his new work and it picks up where the rest of his work left off. 

In his own words

“Soon after I moved to Somerville, Massachusetts in 2002, I began to gut renovate the living unit of my old two family house. When I (literally) took apart my house, I began to re-imagine the narrative of this particular space.

I have recently begun to try to photograph what I love about the feel of Somerville’s side streets, the interstitial relationships between large old houses, and, in particular, a certain quality of this city’s light. 

These images are just evolving, and I expect to work on this project for some time, but I feel quite clearly that these photographs are a new attempt to touch how it has felt to become part of a place, and yet, to not really be a part of it at all.”

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

Please see the rest of the images here. 

Beholder

Down the rabbit hole that is the internet, I stumbled upon the photographs of Chris Cox. I enjoyed them & kept clikcing links. Over the next few days, I would keep coming back to the photographs that make up the series Spiritual Lake. When I found out he was releasing a new book, I knew I had to have a copy. We asked him a few questions about his process & work. Be sure to get yourself a copy of the book, from Gaspard Gallery.

Beholder by Chris Cox

Empty Stretch: Can you talk about how you got into photography & major influences to you & your work. You have very a mystical aesthetic, a certain combination of failure & hope, where is this derived from? 
Chris Cox: A distinct moment for me was when I was introduced to Jeff Wall’s photographs, this was a pivotal realization for me as an artist. Walls photographic tableaux work introduced me to photography as a means to interact more decisively with history. I was drawn to Wall’s ability to interact with other artworks, in particular painting.
Aesthetically my work is interested in finding figures in decided moments, the figures relationship to both their environment and the camera are the foundations for aesthetic preferences. The work can come across as formal or still in certain ways, this comes from a very concrete taste for particular compositions and formal qualities.
ES: What is the meaning behind beholder, it feels as if a loose narrative is taking shape through out the piece & seems like it is another chapter in your on going body of work. 
CC: The narrative and cinematic qualities of the work are both deliberate and results of process. When shooting for Beholder I would photograph with the same individuals at a particular location for several days in a row. Working in that way inherently produces narratives throughout the work. There are only about 40 images in the publication, so that narrative becomes broken and fractured. One of the more important decisions when creating the body of work was deciding what would go in the book and what wouldn’t. There are several scenes and environments that we created and photographed that didn’t make it into the book. The final selection of images is a quite concentrated and limited look into the overall scope of photographs produced.

Beholder by Chris Cox

ES: With Spiritual lake, the viewer seemed to be immersed in the water, here we are given sight of water but never quite submerged, do you wish there to be a dialogue between your series, how do you see them all working together? 
CC: The works in Beholder do have ties to past bodies of work, in particular Spiritual Lake. My overall process hasn’t changed much since shooting for Spiritual Lake, and I’m using many of the same models, so the work is going to be tied to one another in that way. Again this is a result of process, but the process is deliberate and is recreated to continue certain themes in the work. Publications or exhibitions function as capstones or introductions for particular ideas in the work, they act as a nice pause and opportunity to expand or refine where necessary.

Beholder by Chris Cox

ES: You used a gallery space to release a book of new images, where does the work go from here? Is the work meant to live beyond the book form? What is the next step for these images, if any?
CC: I view Beholder as a completed artwork in itself, and using Gaspard to exhibit and release the book was a nice opportunity to let it stand alone as its own individual piece. A couple beholder publications were all that was on view in the gallery, the exhibition experience demanded a certain degree of interaction with the work, it seemed to be an appropriate setting to release the project. Although, I am planning on spending the next year continue working on the body of work started with Beholder. I plan to exhibit a series of works from Beholder as well as new works in an exhibition of printed photographs. I will exhibit exhibit this larger body of work in the spring of 2015.
Beholder by Chris Cox
ES: You incorporate design elements often associated with gallery signage, through out the book. Can you talk about image info & the bodies of text within the work & what exactly you wanted the book to accomplish, i.e. just a book, a gallery show, or an object.
CC: The inclusion of the image information in the book was a way to show the photographs as part of a catalogue of images and give a bit of insight into the breadth of the work. The image numbers are referencing the chronological sequence that the images were shot. The poems at the front and back of the book, then disseminated throughout the book are written by Jacob Bullard, he is pictured in some of the works and is a frequent collaborator in my work. Designer Ben Biondo then worked with the various text elements and photographs to design and layout the publication. I rely heavily on the design of my publications, execution when producing a physical object is crucial, therefore design considerations are critical when considering the final experience a viewer will have with the work. The way one experiences printed matter is very different than when one scrolls through a feed on a screen, therefore all aspects of the publication and its presentation were considered when creating Beholder.

New Year, New Books

We are excited to announce 3 new titles.

This first is our newest group endeavor, PETTY THIEVES FOUR: COAST TO COAST.

Petty Thieves Four

Petty Thieves Four

Featuring 42 photographers photographing what Coast To Coast means to them.

This will be released at the LA Art Book Fair, January 28th- February 2nd, but it can be pre-ordered now. (Pre- orders will not ship until February 5th.)

This project will also be a more long term projection show, but we are still working out the details, with more news to come soon.

We are also super excited to announce another new zine, “Dear Old Man of the Edgelands,” a joint project by Mary Rothlisberger & Petty Thieves Three alum, Carson Davis Brown.

Dear Old Man of the Edgelands

Dear Old Man of the Edgelands

DEAR OLD MAN OF THE EDGELANDS is a study of one thousand miles together on old American highways in late summer. A travelogue of peaks and valleys, wide skies and short sentences, small details and big feelings. This is the story of where we were traveling from. We still don’t know where we are traveling to.

It can be pre-ordered here & previewed here.

Last but not least, our very own Nathaniel Grann has a new zine.

Sometime Blues + Witches Brew

Sometime Blues + Witches Brew

SOMETIME BLUES + WITCHES BREW is a collection of images and writing from the past year. Feeling stuck within self-assigned pressures, and a generic melancholic state, this zine is a homage to that never-ending nagging in the back of your head that tells you things could always be worse and to those short-lived moments you wish you had camera for.

It can be pre-ordered here & previewed here.