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Nora Ligorano, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55582.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML-art photography female form

art photography female form
art photography female form

Nora Ligorano, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55582.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML
See also video interview with the artist (Flickr HD video).

NORA LIGORANO and MARSHALL REESE have collaborated together as Ligorano/Reese since the early 80’s. They use collaboration to blend diverse talents into a singular voice and vision. In the process of creating their work, their individual contributions cross and criss-cross between each other from brainstorming to realizing and making the art on location or in the studio.

They use unusual materials and industrial processes to make their limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures and installations, moving easily from dish towels, underwear, and snow globes, to electronic art and computer controlled interactive installations.

They take and manipulate images, audio and text from old media: print, television, radio and combine that with the new: internet and mobile telecommunications. Their pursuit is an ongoing investigation into the impact of technology on culture and the associations and meanings that the media brings to images, language and speech in politics.

They have an interest with using open forms to involve community interaction, like their drawing contests, Crater Bay Area for the 01 Festival in San Jose and Crater New York at Location1. Installations that combine sculpture with public participation in drawing, within the context of a contest that is also streamed on the internet and in Second Life. Their ice sculptures, “Main Street Meltdown” and “The State of Things” share that same sense of open possibility, fusing natural processes of erosion and decay as flexible durations and markers to determine the experience of the work.

Many of their sculptures and installations reinterpret and reexamine older forms of technology – using objects that signify truth, authority and manifest cultural historicity. Ligorano/Reese use mirrors, clocks, metronomes and medieval codex bindings and combine them with video screens. They have invented micro-projection systems to display films on the head of a pin or the counterweight of a metronome.

Since 2004, they’ve investigated portraiture as a construct of social representation. Line Up (2004-5), their series of portraits of Bush administration officials in mug shot, acknowledges that the mug shot is the preeminent form of portraiture now that more people are incarcerated in the U.S. than any other country in the world. In December, 2007, the exhibition of these photos at the New York Public Library caused a firestorm of controversy with heavy rotation on FoxNews, DrudgeReport’s homepage and many, many other publications.

In 2001, they launched www.pureproductsusa.com, the online retail website for their infamous political art series the Pure Products of America. Since 1992, Ligorano/Reese have made 11 multiples in signed editions of 3 to 100. They are best selling editions at Printed Matter, artbook@ps1 and the New Museum store and have prompted, at least on one occasion, the RNC to threaten them with copyright infringement.

For more information see “The Joy of Collaborating: recipes for time-based art.


Eyebeam Open Studios: Fall 2009


Eyebeam is pleased to host Open Studios for its 2009 Senior Fellows, Resident Artists, and Student Residents at Eyebeam’s state-of-the-art design, research, and fabrication studio; showcasing video performance, wearable technologies, code and humor, party technology, and sustainablity design.


Eyebeam is the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States.

Founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1997, Eyebeam was conceived as a non-profit art and technology center dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre of cultural production.

Since then, Eyebeam has supported more than 130 fellowships and residencies for artists and creative technologists; we’ve run an active education program for youth, artists’ professional development and community outreach; and have mounted an extensive series of public programs, over recent years approximately 4 exhibitions and 40 workshops, performances and events annually.

Today, Eyebeam offers residencies and fellowships for artists and technologists working in a wide range of media. At any given time, there are up to 20 resident artists and fellows onsite at Eyebeam’s 15,000-square foot Chelsea offices and Labs, developing new projects and creating work for open dissemination through online, primarily open-source, publication as well as a robust calendar of public programming that includes free exhibitions, lectures and panels, participatory workshops, live performances and educational series.


art photography female form
art photography female form

My 500px Favorites
For the past week or so I’ve been spending some time playing around with the photosharing site 500px and am really starting to like it. The site has been around awhile (since 2003) but went through some major redesigns, most notably in the Fall of last year. The result seems to be a very elegant photosharing community that is far more focused on fine art and artistic oriented photography than Flickr is.

In a lot of ways, the site reminds me of an early Flickr, back when the staff seemed to care more and back when Flickr actually seemed to care about beautiful photography and their users.

The site has two different versions. There is a free version which features a basic photostream and limits you to 20 uploads per week and one collection. And then there is a paid version at per year which offers unlimited uploads and collections.

Both versions offer unlimited hosting and a basic photostream organized by most recently uploaded photo in an elegant large square format with oversized photos when you click through. Both versions also include a free photoblog to blog your work in a different way if you’d prefer that over the traditional photostream as well as a wall where people can leave comments about you. 500px also claims that the photos are optimized for SEO so that your work can be found.

In addition to allowing unlimited uploads, the paid version allows a number of other features including the ability to link your photostream to a custom domain, an RSS feed, the ability to remove all 500px branding from your stream (aka white label), advertising free, as well as the ability to hook your stream up to a Google analytics account to better monitor traffic and activity.

In addition to your own photostream, like Flickr, you can build favorites of other photographs, comment on photographs and either "like" or "dislike" photographs which results in a public numerical score that a photograph receives. There are several areas where you can also explore some pretty amazing photography, including popular, editor’s choice, upcoming and fresh.

Perhaps what I find most refreshing about the site as it’s structured right now is that it seems to be attracting some of the most talented photographers I’ve seen on the web in any one place in long time.

Scrolling through many of the members photostreams it reminds me of some of the early photographers who gravitated to flickr using it to express the beauty of the world around them. Comparing some of the showcase areas above, for example, with Flickr’s super crappy Explore (complete with blacklisting users, sparkly gifs, and obnoxious watermarks) there simply is no comparison as to which is showing superior fine art photography. 500px is better.

Also, in contrast to Flickr’s puritanical censorship, 500px doesn’t seem to have a problem with the occasional artistic representation of the female form that, God forbid, might (gasp) actually show a naked breast. I guess it probably helps that they are Canadian and more laid back about those sorts of things. Flickr on the other hand censored this photograph of mine of an 1874 painting by Jules-Joseph Lefebvre from the Chicago Art Institute that doesn’t even show boobs.

Creating an account and profile was very easy on 500px. I liked that they don’t seem to have a problem with html markup in your profile and I was able to link all of my other social media sites. It’s also nice that your profile accompanies your photostream, favorites, etc. giving good exposure to the photographer.

Uploading photos was pretty easy. It’s also nice that 500px allows images sized up to 30MB. Flickr is stuck in the dark ages with the pre-2004 20MB limit still. When popular cameras like the Canon 5DM2 routinely produce images between 20MB and 30MB it sucks that when you use Flickr’s bulk uploader that they mangle images so badly, resizing them in some cases down to less than 500kb (example). It’s bad enough to have your images resized without being told about it, but to resize a 22MB image down to less than 5% of it’s original size just seems really cheap on Flickr’s part.

It is a drag that 500px doesn’t seem to read a photo’s metadata and allow you to auto-populate titles, keywords, descriptions/captions, etc. Hopefully they enable that soon as there is no sense in doing that work in lightroom only to have to rekey that data in after uploading to 500px. There are also lots of areas that 500px seems to have room to grow in. It would be nice to see groups there like Flickr has.

Like Flickr, 500px allows you an embed code to blog your images, as well as the buttons necessary to share your image to other popular social networking sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Google Buzz, etc.

I think more than any of the above items, what’s got me most interested in 500px though, is what feels to me like a truly refreshing view of photography from the people who work there. Flickr staffers have routinely expressed their disdain over the years for the fine art photographer. They’ve deleted accounts without warning, they’ve censored artists, they’ve blacklisted many from Explore, they’ve banned artists from the public help forum areas, and in general just routinely treat us (their users) like garbage. We’ve been talked down to, treated like children, and been openly abused.

Compare and contrast Flickr’s disdain for the artistic fine art photographer with this "about" page from 500px.

"The mission
Being an artist has never been easy, especially in today’s fast paced, digital age. Photographers can’t be just artists anymore, they have to be managers, accountants, marketing teams, assistants, web developers, and their own ‘mean, lean, shutter-clicking machines". Too many things to handle? We sure think so! We started the company to help photographers get greater exposure, reduce some of the marketing headaches, and to let creatives concentrate on what they do best. We love seeing amazing work and equally love promoting it! A sense of inspired community is also important to us. We believe that the way forward is through presenting, discussing, supporting, and socializing with like-minded people."

Our Team
500px is a group of individuals that live and breathe photography. We like to share art with others and have the means to do so. Our small company is based in Toronto and from there we broadcast the awesomeness. We truly enjoy what we do.

That reads so refreshing.

500px still has a lot of work to do to continue competing with Flickr, but thus far I’ve found it to be very community centered and certainly with great potential. They state that they are currently seeking angel and VC funding here.

You can check out my photostream and follow me on 500px here.

Thanks by the way to my good rooftopping Pal Tomms, for turning me on to this awesome site. Check out this amazing photograph that he posted on 500px!

art photography female form

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