Awardee: Katherine Elisabeth Clark
Primary Artistic Medium: Media Arts
I AM HERE is a reflection of community. This is an installation that utilizes photography and silent video projections on exterior walls of public spaces throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. In each neighborhood, two projections will exist side-by-side. The first: a pre-edited video exploring the neighborhood, of empty streets and sidewalks, which will screen on a loop. The second: an interactive projection featuring participant-submitted media of themselves as they visit the space or interact with the neighborhood.
Within these projections, there will be no audio. This will require the observer to reflect on images of who else “was” here interacting in the space, and will further ask each observer to recognize that they themselves are now part of the space, of the community, of the city, and a truly present part of the exhibition itself.
Each neighborhood of Philadelphia will feature one interactive space. A plaque will be located in each space, detailing directions on how to participate or submit media. Anyone can contribute, and anyone can play a role in sharing how they see their neighborhood or how they themselves interact with the space and projections.
After six weeks, the participant submissions will close and the projections will change neighborhoods as a traveling exhibition. For instance, the South Philly media will be projected in West Philly, The West Philly projections will be located in South Philly, and so on, connecting neighborhoods throughout all of Philadelphia, and displaying the many communities that exist within our one city.
To complement these projections, I AM HERE will feature a basic but interactive website featuring each neighborhood and public art space. Participants can visit the website to upload their own photos or video to be projected onto the adjacent wall of the exhibition. The website will also include a map of spaces where installations are ongoing. Later on, the website will serve as an archive to display submitted photos and media by neighborhood.
I AM HERE is first an observation of a single place and interaction in that place. It then evolves as a means to connect communities and showcase what it means to be and to live in Philadelphia in this present moment. The viewer of the installation becomes the “I”, reflecting on the community and moment that they are a part of, and “here” becomes Philadelphia, encompassing each neighborhood and past observers of each space.
Accessibility Notes: 1) A plaque next to the projections will contain directions on how to participate and submit content. If an individual does not have access to a camera, they may request a disposable camera and mail it back to be processed. 2) During COVID-19, I AM HERE may serve as a safe, socially distanced art installation, a reminder of fluctuation and the absence of normal while continuing to engage, embrace, and showcase community.