Carriage Trade is pleased to present Social Photography VIII, the eighth installment of carriage trade’s cell phone photography show. While Social Photography is not guided by an all-encompassing theme, each year’s collection of pictures becomes an informal archive reflecting a range of recent social experience. Taking place in the midst of significant societal vulnerability and political conflict across the U.S., this year’s show presents an opportunity to recognize the importance of the ordinary or everyday in the face of the extraordinary, while also perhaps indicating a certain amount of resilience among the contributors, given the practical and emotional demands of a very uncertain moment.
Cell phones have become a kind of appendage for many, offering the ability to communicate, track, record, and archive every experience, then routinely feed the results into a social media stream. With its scrolling, “bottomless” format encouraging impulsive interaction, a perplexing mix of the anecdotal, the self-promotional, and the politically urgent coexist without perceptible context. Largely indifferent to codes of ethics or aesthetics, all content is subjected to peer rating systems and shifting algorithms that target the user based on their “stimulus patterns”, while the split second experience of the social media image guarantees a short shelf life as it perpetually fuels the insatiable appetite of the attention economy.
As an eight plus year project, Social Photography has evolved with cell phone technology and in parallel with the development of social media. What began as an investigation of a novelty medium which simultaneously offered an alternative to the conventional non-profit benefit exhibition has become a kind of tradition, as it sustains and expands carriage trade’s community through its many participants, while helping support upcoming projects. While cell phone images are generally “unstable” through their constant movement within digital platforms, Social Photography links the cell phone picture’s virtual origins to an in-person gallery experience.
Providing a platform for a medium whose relationship to the history of photography remains unclear, Social Photography also exists as an expression of ambivalence towards the professionalization of the image, as well as the hierarchical codes that might restrict our reception of a photograph. While the exhibition has never been thematic and has instead maintained some detachment with respect to content, given the magnitude of current events, the 2020 iteration of Social Photography may reflect the tenor of the times more than most. Considering the degree of uncertainty and tension now present in many people’s lives, we wish to express our enormous gratitude to all who have contributed to this year’s show.
List of Contributors | Ruthie Abel / Dennis Adams / Peggy Ahwesh / Anthony Allen / Michele Araujo / Michael Ashkin / Mengfan Bai / Perry Bard / Agnes Barley / Jordan Barse / David Baskin / Lisa Beck / Peter Bellamy / Steve Benson / Liz Berg / Julien Bismuth / Joi Bittle / Lisa Blas / Barbara Bloom / Ann Bobco / Jennifer Bolande / Richard Bosman / Kimberly Bradley / Irfan Brkovic / Hue Bui / Victoria Campbell / Jane Cao / Micaela Carolan / Yann Chateigné / Nora Chellew / Antoine Catala / Emily Chiavelli / Mary Clarke / Jeri Coppola / Fred Cray / Jody Culkin / Adrian Dannatt / Jeremiah Day / Mira Dayal / Chris Dorland / David Deutsch / Satoru Eguchi / Tracey Emin / Barbara Epler / Barbara Ess / Maya Fell / Tom Forkin / Hal Foster / Andrea Frank / Ashley Garrett / Jeff Gibson / Liam Gillick / Olivia Gilmore / Andrew Ginzel / Robert Goldman / Jasmine Golestaneh / Michelle Grabner / Dan Graham / Barbara Gundlach / Helga Hansen / Rachel Harrison / Drew Healy / Yuki Higashino / Noritoshi Hirakawa / Duy Hoàng / Karl Holmqvist / Christalena Hughmanick / Emily Hunt / Laura Hunt / Ginny Huo / Gary Indiana / Shirley Irons / Keenan Jay / Bryn Jayes / Lulu Jiang / Nicole Kaack / Jane Kaplowitz / Pujan Karambeigi / Dennis Kardon / Mike Kenney / Mathias Kessler / Joyce Kim / Anna Kleberg Tham / Essye Klempner / Hilary Kliros / Nicholas Knight / Sophie Kovel / Udomsak Krisanamis / Alex Kwartler / Erik la Prade / Stephen Lack / Justen Ladda / Eugenia Lai / Louise Lawler / Elizabeth LeCompte / Mika Lee / Alexandra Lerman / Simon Leung / Wenxiao Li / Laura Li / Molly Rose Lieberman / Ming Lin / Margaret Liu / Clinton Neil Logan / Hsiang-Hsi Lu / Nasim Luczaj / Joseph Magliaro / Stephen Maine / Jiří Makovec / Kai Matsumiya / Satomi Matsuzaki / Reggie McCafferty / Michael McFadden / Tom Mcglynn / Aline Melaet / Veronika Molnár / Hyungjo Moon / Diane Nerwen / Linda Norden / John Oakes / John Opera / Daylon Orr / Laura Parnes / Ester Partegas / Stephan Pascher / Xavier Pauwels / Gelah Penn / Andreas Petrossiants / Zoe Pettijohn Schade / Michael Poetschko / Jeff Preiss / Xander Rapparport / Tobias Rehberger / Calvin Reid / Daniel Roche / Aura Rosenberg / Joe Routman / Ryan Rusiecki / John Schabel / Christopher Schade / Heidi Schlatter / Diana Schmertz / Nadine Schmied / Pieter Schoolwerth / Barry Schwabsky / Michael Scott / Elaine Sexton / Zhi Shu / James Siena / Adam Simon / Leah Singer / Tom Sperry / Gary Stephan / Steel Stillman / George Stoll / Laurie Stone / Richard Sullivan / Carol Szymanski / Gwenn Thomas / Rirkrit Tiravanija / Momoyo Torimitsu / Dan Torop / Sophie Tottie / Pegi Vail / Kate Valk / Ali Van / Liselot Van der Heijden / Philip Vanderhyden / Virginia Inés Vergara / Doris Vila / Julie Wachtel / Brett Wallace / Dan Walworth / William Wegman / Barbara Ann Weissberger / Roy Williams / Conor Williams / Scott Williams / Nechama Winston / David Winter / Pedro Wirz / Josiah Wolfson / Brian Wood / B. Wurtz / C. Spencer Yeh / Paul Young / Spencer H Young / Jiajia Zhang / Hanwen Zhang / Hana Zhang / Billy Zhao / Omar Zubair