Social media inspires new exhibit

At the reception for “Geolocation: Desert­scapes,” senior communications major Anthony Juarez speaks to featured photographer Marni Shindelman via Skype and an iPad because the photographers could not make it to the reception. The exhibit, also featuring the work of Nate Larson, runs through May 24 in the Carlson Gallery on the ground floor of Miller Hall. / photo by Ryan Gann

Karla Rendon
Staff Writer

Students, faculty and fans of photography attended the Carlson Gallery’s latest exhibit, “Geolocation: Desertscapes” on April 25.

Photographers Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman were present for the reception via Skype through iPads while guests browsed the gallery and enjoyed refreshments such as coffee, tea and the usual assorted cheeses and fruits.

Although the photographers’ Skype participation caused strange looks from some, many students thought it was innovative and appropriate for the gallery theme.

The exhibit consists of more than a dozen landscape photos, each accompanied by a tweet and the numerical GPS location of the photo’s setting.

Larson and Shindelman read through numerous tweets and found the location of the source to take the photographs.

“It’s a different look on social media,” senior public relations major Jessica Hernandez said. “I think it’s a prime example on the way social media can find you and know your location.”

Junior psychology and photography major Pablo Cabrera and freshman and photography and computer science major Kaung Myat Tun both agree with Hernandez about the gallery’s connection with social media.

“I like the idea of involving social media,” Cabrera said. “I think it’s important to involve Twitter since social media is on our lives and Twitter is just such a great marketing tool.”

“It’s interesting because I’ve never seen anyone connect Twitter with art,” Tun said.

“That’s what people are doing. I put my photos on Facebook too but I’ve never seen anyone do it with Twitter,” Tun said.

One photo that was popular among the crowd was a photograph of a street sign reading “right turn only,” with streaks of light in the back taken at night.

The accompanying tweet reads, “Mark 3: 1-6. What’s Jesus want to whisper in your ear tonight.”

Guests had much to say about the photo.

“The photo gives a feeling of life happening,” Cabrera said. “You can relate it to Twitter since it’s life going on. Life just happens and another thing happens. I’m not sure how to describe it other than life just goes on.”

“I like the tweet the photo comes with,” freshman photography major Cameron Mendez said. “The lights and the blur makes it look eerie and kind of scary.”

This crowd favorite was taken in a church parking lot, Larson said.

“Marni and I liked the idea of Jesus whispering something to you,” Larson said.

Knowing nothing on the internet is private, Larson said he and Shindelman hope people realize that.

“I don’t like Twitter. All you see is bits of information of that person. Twitter is so public so if you join, anyone can see your posts,” Larson said.

“Geolocation: Desertscapes” will be in Carlson Gallery until May 24.

Karla Rendon can be reached at

Ryan Gann

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