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About Nate

Baltimore City

I am a contemporary artist working with photographic media, artist books and digital video. My projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Picture Show from NPR, Slate, CNN, Hyperallergic, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed News, Vice Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, Hotshoe Magazine, Flavorwire, the BBC News Viewfinder, Frieze Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, APM’s Marketplace Tech Report,... more

Centroid Towns (2014 - present)

Centroid Towns is a social documentary project studying the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America.

The Centroid, or mean center of population, is described by the U.S. Census Bureau as “the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if weights of identical value were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person on the date of the census.” This point is calculated every ten years to accompany the Census, first located in 1790 near Chestertown, Maryland, and moving steadily westward, currently residing near Plato, Missouri. The path of these twenty-five coordinates mirrors the population growth of the nation, following the routes of settlement from the Atlantic to the interior. It also mirrors my personal history, linking my current home in Maryland to my Midwestern roots in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

Centroid Towns (2014 - present)

Centroid Towns is a social documentary project studying the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America. The Centroid, or mean center of population, is described by the U.S. Census Bureau as “the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if weights of identical value were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person on the date of the census.” This point is calculated every ten years to accompany the Census, first located in 1790 near Chestertown, Maryland, and moving steadily westward, currently residing near Plato, Missouri. The path of these twenty-five coordinates mirrors the population growth of the nation, following the routes of settlement from the Atlantic to the interior. It also mirrors my personal history, linking my current home in Maryland to my Midwestern roots in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

Geolocation: #Gratitude (2016)

Geolocation: #Gratitude On October 7th, 2011, the blogger and now United Russia Party member Vladimir Burmatov posted a rhyming couplet on Twitter - “Moscow is warm and sunny. Summer! #ThanksToPutinForThat” (VMoskve teplo i solntse. Leto! #spasiboputinuzaeto) - and encouraged others to follow with their own tweets using the hashtag. The invitation was accepted with more than 10,000 tweets that day alone and it became the first globally trending Cyrillic hashtag. The resulting Tweets were frequently sarcastic or critical of Putin’s political agenda. For the last seven years, through our collaborative project Geolocation, we have used publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. The sea of digital noise that surrounds us has 550 million tweets per day. We reach up and pull one from the cloud, and make a photograph as a memorial to the user, and the particular moment that user stood on that space, and launched their message into cyberspace. In June 2016, we photographed sites linked to #ThanksToPutinForThat in St. Petersburg and Moscow during a month long artist residency with CEC ArtsLink. As we began wandering the streets of St. Petersburg, the project grew. We would spend the sunlit summer evenings with our translator who would explain the nuances of Twitter speak, the political climate, and events that influenced the tweets. As we talked, we also saw the parallels to the #ThanksObama hashtag in our own country. After completing our time in Russia, we are now working on photographing #ThanksObama in Chicago and Los Angeles, the sister cities to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The completed project will illuminate the relationships between world leaders and their constituents, examine the tensions persisting after the end of the Cold War, and analyze the use of the hashtag as a gathering point for ideas online. This project is produced collaboratively with artist Marni Shindelman, under the name Larson Shindelman. We are grateful for curatorial guidance and translation by Iaroslav Volovod. This project is made possible, in part, by a funded residency with CEC Artslink.

Geolocation: #Gratitude (2017)

Geolocation: #Gratitude On October 7th, 2011, the blogger and now United Russia Party member Vladimir Burmatov posted a rhyming couplet on Twitter - “Moscow is warm and sunny. Summer! #ThanksToPutinForThat” (VMoskve teplo i solntse. Leto! #spasiboputinuzaeto) - and encouraged others to follow with their own tweets using the hashtag. The invitation was accepted with more than 10,000 tweets that day alone and it became the first globally trending Cyrillic hashtag. The resulting Tweets were frequently sarcastic or critical of Putin’s political agenda. For the last seven years, through our collaborative project Geolocation, we have used publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. The sea of digital noise that surrounds us has 550 million tweets per day. We reach up and pull one from the cloud, and make a photograph as a memorial to the user, and the particular moment that user stood on that space, and launched their message into cyberspace. In June 2016, we photographed sites linked to #ThanksToPutinForThat in St. Petersburg and Moscow during a month long artist residency with CEC ArtsLink. As we began wandering the streets of St. Petersburg, the project grew. We would spend the sunlit summer evenings with our translator who would explain the nuances of Twitter speak, the political climate, and events that influenced the tweets. As we talked, we also saw the parallels to the #ThanksObama hashtag in our own country. After completing our time in Russia, we are now working on photographing #ThanksObama in Chicago and Los Angeles, the sister cities to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The completed project will illuminate the relationships between world leaders and their constituents, examine the tensions persisting after the end of the Cold War, and analyze the use of the hashtag as a gathering point for ideas online. This project is produced collaboratively with artist Marni Shindelman, under the name Larson Shindelman. We are grateful for curatorial guidance and translation by Iaroslav Volovod. This project is made possible, in part, by a funded residency with CEC Artslink.

Geolocation (2009 - 2016)

Geolocation

We use publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.

Twitter estimates there are over 550 million tweets daily, creating a new level of digital noise. Clive Thompson uses the term ambient awareness to describe this incessant online contact in the New York Times Magazine article, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.” According to Thompson, “It is. . . very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye.” Our collaborative work is a means for situating this virtual communication in the physical realm. We imagine ourselves as virtual flâneurs, ethnographers of the Internet, exploring cities 140 characters at a time through the lives of others.

This project is produced collaboratively with artist Marni Shindelman, under the name Larson Shindelman.

Jubilee Arts (2015 - 2016)

For the last year and a half, I have worked in collaboration with Jubilee Arts to make portraits of Baltimore City youth engaged in their programming. Jubilee Arts is a non-profit that provides arts classes and other services to the residents of the Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, and surrounding neighborhoods that were at the epicenter of the recent unrest.

The portraits come out of conversations, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous. In addition to the environmental portraits, I also set up "pop-up photobooths" at the end-of-term performances and youth-organized events. As I photograph, the images downloaded from my high-resolution camera to my linked phone, which is shared with the subjects as we discuss the nature of the representation. The youth frequently transmit the photographs to their own devices and social platforms. This body of work is a part of an ongoing long-term engagement with the neighborhoods and communities that make up my city. Creation of these photographs is made possible, in part, by a Rubys Artist Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. Many thanks to Nora Howell and Kim Loper for their support.

Art at Work (2015)

In July 2015, I worked in collaboration with Jubilee Arts and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts to make portraits of Baltimore City youth employed in the Art @ Work summer mural program. Jubilee Arts is a non-profit that provides arts classes and other services to the residents of the Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, and surrounding neighborhoods that were at the epicenter of the recent unrest.

The Art @ Work teams were guided by mentor artists and community input to create a series of murals in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. The images in this exhibition are from our time together, during which I built a rapport with both the teams and individuals, and worked with the participants to make their portraits. As I photographed, the images were downloaded from my high-resolution camera to my linked phone, which was shared with the subjects as we discussed the nature of the representation. They would frequently transmit the photographs to their own devices and social platforms. 8x10 prints were distributed to the participants at the conclusion of our time together. This series is a part of an ongoing long-term engagement with the neighborhoods and communities that make up our city.

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Nate's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.