First presented in 2011, carriage trade’s Social Photography exhibitions have catalogued the rapid transformation of cell phone photography over the last several years. From a novelty medium existing between the voice and text functions of flip phones, to the smart phone as near physical appendage capable of recording and transmitting every waking moment, the cell phone camera now plays a pervasive role in many people’s lives.
While Instagram tends to emphasize the medium’s social utility, carriage trade’s Social Photography exhibitions have tracked an alternate course, inviting participants and viewers to encounter these images in a format free of peer-generated tallies, while offering the option of a sustained look afforded by a gallery setting. Social Photography contributors are not limited to visual artists, and include writers, curators, musicians, students, etc., reflecting the accessibly and ubiquity of cell phone camera use.
The show is function as a benefit exhibition to help support upcoming programming at carriage trade.
Less a sanctioning of an evolving medium than a hybrid of a traditional exhibition format and the wider net of social media, Social Photography also functions as a means to sustain and expand carriage trade’s community, which exists in the combined spheres of online experience and the irreplaceable physicality of the exhibition space itself.