Identity design is like a poem, you mustn’t knock the reader over the head. And like a poem, it should invite them in, and do only what it must to preserve their curiosity and interest. You see—when you are lighting a fire by hand and a few embers emerge, all you must do is gently blow on it until it catches flame. Smothering it with air will simply extinguish it. Building a brand is no different.
The lens carries the connotation of clarity—in pulling closer to and focusing in on the subject, photography and video capture a particular set of expectations within a place which attempts to remove the frame and become “truth.” Between painter Hank Schmidt in der Beek, knitting artist Sam Barsky, and performance artist George Ferrandi, the synthesis of photography and their respective art forms stems beyond a means of documentary and becomes a contemporary investigation in the role of context and the significance of place. The lens in each of their cases becomes a microscope through which we observe how an individual can take control of a place and manipulate the expectations that come with it. These participatory projects which engage the artist reveal the role of the individual in place and how participation can breed a mutually beneficial relationship.