New Project Includes You + Me — “Dasein: an Invitation To Hang”

Friends, co-consiprators, co-inspirators, and anyone else who’s just dropping in for the first time. I am so very excited. Hopefully you tuned into today’s chasejarvisLIVE broadcast where I announced my latest project called Dasein: An Invitation to Hang. In case you missed it, check out the above video and details below. In short, it’s important to me that you know enough about the project that you’d be willing to participate…to display your work right beside mine and hundreds of other photographers, artists, celebrities, etc online AND hanging physically in a prestigious location in the heart of NYC.

The short version is right here, but you should definitely read the long version, my manifesto for the project below in this blog post… But for short hand, here you go: I’m shooting for a month straight in NYC, celebrating the concept of the snapshot during an official Artist In Residency at the Ace Hotel New York. While I’m shooting I want the world to know that you are invited to join me. Not necessarily physically (although keep an eye out for that on twitter), but to be shooting creative moments, snapshots in your world, wherever that may be….

My hope is that you will then share those images with me and the world via this website: InvitationToHang.com . This site will serve as a digital focus of the installation, a place where you can submit your best, most intriguing snapshot images, and concurrently see images coming in from all over the world, everyday for the next 30 days. Please feel free to submit as many images as you like. So that your images are inline with the concept, I, again, encourage you to read my artist statement about the project, below, later in this text. Note that we will be curating this stream of your images as they pour in. A world wide, running gallery.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT: From those digital submissions, I will personally curate and print a selection of images each day, based on what work comes in. YOUR images will then combine with my images, some images shot on site here at the Ace Hotel with Polaroid cameras by guests, and the images of a handful of some of my famous photographers and celebrity friends to hang ANONYMOUSLY in the physical gallery installation at the legendary Ace Hotel lobby. It’s a huge party of pictures from around the world, shared physically and digitally, for a one month period, AND IT STARTS TODAY. RIGHT NOW. This physical installation will rotate daily, contingent on strong work coming in through all channels. it will act as a “living” exhibition.

Here are a few 3D renderings of the space. Hundreds of snapshot style pictures, all hanging together, and everyday new ones emerge.

Pretty cool, eh?

Now please read this:
Manifesto for…. Dasein: An Invitation to Hang

Conceptual Background
The German word Dasein has been used by Heidegger and numerous other philosophers to refer to raw human existence — the fundamental mode of “being there.” Heidegger chose this term in order to emphasize the critical importance that “Being” has for our understanding and interpretation of the world.

When applied to photography, this everyday-ness is most revealed by the snapshot. Over time and without our knowledge, the snapshot has become the most meaningful visual storyboard we have of simply “being” in the world. The snapshot is pure, direct, unmediated expression and, refreshingly, it lacks academic influence or vogue. At once a celebration of life and a reminder of our mortality, the snapshot awakens us to realize that we each have a limited number of these discrete, fleeting moments in our lives. Especially when aggregated, snapshots readily precipitate what it means to be human.

The snapshot is our most basic visual language, yet for being a fundamental, visual building block that expresses a world’s culture–our human “being there”–the snapshot has never been properly celebrated. The time is now ripe for that celebration.

We have hit a critical mass of cameras in our culture. They are nearly ubiquitous. Point & shoot cameras, polaroids, web cameras, surveillance cameras, dSLR cameras and particularly mobile phones. While an earlier body of my work (The Best Camera is The One That’s With You & thebestcamera.com) set out to celebrate the fact that we all have devices and can now be whimsically, instantly, in-the-moment free to be more creative than ever before, this current work has come to rest not in the devices or their adoption, but specifically in the images that are born from these devices. Casual photographs of our lives are now everywhere in our culture, but their abundance and this sudden shift to ubiquity has unjustly rendered them benign in many circles–most certainly in academic ones. In contrast, however, I’ve found, and my statement is that, they have more metaphysical power, and are more closely aligned to humanity, than perhaps any other type of photography.

Snapshots are artifacts in and of themselves and they signal a completely new artistic movement. When considered fairly, there is obvious intention. And there is an obvious dedication from the photographer. Instead of the traditional concept of artistic dedication to the medium, however, there is a dedication to the substrate – a dedication to the medium plus life.

The amount of time spent intending or creating the image–in the case of a snapshot, only a matter of seconds–is not the appropriate criterion from which to prescribe artistic valuation. These snapshot images represent a touching sense of freedom that is absent in most photographs that are typically celebrated, hung in galleries, museums, and installations. This is simpler; it’s the maker of the pictures being purely enthralled by what he or she sees before them.

It is this ethos and style of work in which I will be creating during my artist-in-residency at the Ace Hotel NYC beginning on May 11.

The Invitation to Hang
During my month long artist-in-residency I will be creating a body of work by invoking the snapshot in and around the Ace Hotel New York. Cameras of all kinds, settings of all kinds, people of all kinds, co-conspirators and collaborators. A broad selection of work will be posted to the web at InvitationToHang.com and a carefully curated selection of work will be on display in the gallery adjoining the legendary Ace lobby.

Concurrent with my Dasein body of work, I will extend an open invitation to the photographers of the world to also study the snapshot and, more importantly, to contribute their work to the project. Digital images will be accepted via a web submission process that will remain on digital display, at InvitationToHang.com throughout the duration of the project.

Most notably, however a curated selection of the images submitted online will be also printed to become a part of the physical installation at the Ace, and will be updated daily to incorporate the new work that is submitted. The resulting installation–a gallery full of images representing a collection of my imagery, co-mingled with the imagery of the photographers of the world–will all be hung together, ANONYMOUSLY, to reflect a living, breathing physical gallery of work that celebrates Dasein and the snapshot.

Ethos of Display
To display this work in such a manner is to give full commitment to the actual image and the collective consciousness of a worldwide aggregate of artists. One may derive sheer pleasure simply from the collection of snapshots, from the lives of those lived out in the printed image however, this installation aims to be more than just a collection of photos. It is an expression of “being” and “everyday-ness”; and–perhaps more importantly–its structure is an open challenge to the status quo, signaling an imminent paradigm shift. Not only will well-known artists hang next to unknown artists, will I hang next to you, but everyone will own it and no one will own it; it may be difficult or impossible to categorize, and we will celebrate the new notions of openness, accessibility, distribution, and the democratization of creativity. Moreover, the conversation about open participation in the project becomes a meta-narrative beyond the underlying subject matter of the installation. It is appropriated by the work, and therefore becomes an integral part of it.

The typical gatekeepers of the art world–through a self perpetuating model that they themselves have perhaps unintentionally surrendered to–manicure the money, the pedigree, and the privilege of those who most typically participate. This project alone cannot subvert this pattern, but perhaps it can be another straw on the camel’s back and suspend the gatekeepers attention, even for just a moment in time.

The hope is that together we can re-contextualize this work–both the snapshots and their display. We will celebrate this aggregated installation with or without the establishment. If it’s able to be recognized by the canon rather than perceived as a threat, even for a moment, then we have achieved something. If it’s not worthy of such attention–either via lack of merit or otherwise–then at least we have made something together and thrown it at convention.

For now, art history is written by the academics. I hope Dasein: An Invitation to Hang and other projects like it to come, indicate a shift. Not a shift to displace the academic rigor that underpins the status quo, because there are some ways in which their function is helpful and necessary. I intend rather a shift that allows our culture’s art history to be written collectively by those who intellectualize the work concurrently with the vast sum of picture-takers that actually live the work.

Why the Ace?
The Ace Hotel New York represents a reaction to something in our culture. It launched at a time when the whole notion of ‘bigger, more flashy, more expensive’ came crashing down with the global economy. The Ace isn’t about those things as much as it’s a celebration of creativity and community. In the same way the Ace has subverted the typically-understood models of hospitality, of rooms and lobbies, of corporate messaging, community, culture, food and their guests, so does the ethos of Dasein: An Invitation to Hang aim to question the monopoly of more traditional art installations. The culturally-curious cross section of our population wants more than what’s offered at the typical hotel. And ironically so they want more than what’s on display at our common art institutions, museums and galleries. This marriage of ‘concept in a concept, art within Ace–Dasein within Dasein– is not an accident. The Ace is the place. At present there isn’t another space more appropriate for doing this installation.

Not unlike street art and graffiti, the spirit embodied in this project is one of immediacy and accessibility, of creative empowerment and self expression. Until now, this style of work and its display has been relegated to the streets and the online world. Thanks to the Ace it now has a home inside, with four walls and a roof overhead.

This project will continue to unfold organically over the next 30 days from my location here within the ACE. Please ask questions, please submit pictures to this project. Please tell your friends. The more photographers we can get contributing, the more powerful this piece of art will be. Thank you.

Submit images here: http://www.invitationtohang.com

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Robert says:

hi chase.

one question, can we know if our photos are chosen to hang in ace hotel?
i would just like to know, it would be after all encouraging for keep doing what we do.
:)

btw great project.

Stopping by the gallery tonight! Looking forward to it. Thanks for being in New York Chase.

Peace,

KWOTE SCRIPTURES

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Really nice chase!

Bluestill says:

I am having so much fun with this project but I can’t get the submit button to function from my iPhone. I really wish I can upload the photos I am shootin with it.

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Great project. Let’s add Dublin to the list.

Cécile says:

I really love your idea, I love the idea of sharing in a happening way but the terms of submission of tumblr “you give this site unlimited license in perpetuity to the content and the information therein” bother me. Am I the only one?

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Excited to see this develop

Falk Meyer says:

This is truly an innovative and global celebration of free, unbound and democratic arts.
Essentially this comes down to lomography being celebrated and embraced.
Chase, I want to thank you for making this project happen, as it also means that you bear with less income during that time to some extend, as you provide this project for everyone for free and nobody to profit financially of.
One could argue, that you might have enough money to not care about a loss of income, but in the end, every artist who wants to be TRULY and completely free, needs money as a quarterback!
You take this to another level, as you also quarterback everyone else PLUS even push the whole field forward by providing the playfield.
I like how you also mention that academic photography still has its place, not just because it is true that neither compete with each other and because it is your profession, but also because you achieve that a) lomographers and academic photographers can be ONE person (with you making a perfect example) b) Neither or nobody should feel being less worthy of photography, arts, expression, … c) You remind people to LIVE, celebrate life, capture it and regard it as pure and raw art. Basically it is a documentation of your life in perfection, as it is made as was fit and thought to be good. Imperfections making it individual and hence: perfect.

Chase, I am a long follower of yours.
Your work deeply inspires me and my work and I am glad to see that you give photographers like me, casual snap-shotters and everyone else that you can’t categorize such a great opportunity.

Sincerely,
Falk Meyer from Germany

Dwayne says:

Chase,

If I come down with a few printed snapshots will that be cool? Anyone in particular I can give them to?

Dwayne

Chase says:

there is a place within the installation marked “contribute”. just clip them there dwayne. and I’ll get em.

thx!

Anne Wallace says:

Great project.

I have a question about the intent. The guidelines are open ended. Was the goal to feature photos taken on the individual days of the show, a “day in the life of” kind of project, or are you simply including any photos taken anytime and displaying whatever is submitted in the 30 days?

Snapshots implies to me unedited, unmediated spontaneous shots. Yet, I see images that are stylistically altered by digital editing.

In terms of technical aspects how are you defining “snapshots”?

Can you take a snapshot with pro equipment?

Is there a visual “language” for images that we identify as “professional” and a different “language” for snapshots?

How would a professional photographer describe the difference his/her work and a snapshot?

Thanks,
Anne

Ant says:

Chase, I love this. Can’t make it to NYC, but I’ve lost so much time looking through the online version. Some fantastic images. Great work all of you, the images have brought me much pleasure.

jamesd3rd says:

What is the relationship between the online gallery and the archive?

fas says:

Very interesting project, its something unique and i look forward to know more.

John Coyne says:

thank you for this opportunity

-JC

Milana says:

great project! thank you!
will the Ace Hotel be open to the public?

Erik Hecht says:

Yep, the space is completely open to the public. Come see us!

Ernie Sapiro says:

Grat idea Chase….I’m in.

Ernie Sapiro says:

LOvE the idea….I’m in and I will be in NYC in two weeks. When will the pics start to be hung?

Submitted :D
I might just go over to the Hotel and check it out! Hope you’ll be there!

Chase Jarvis says:

we are hanging them starting today, 5/13…

james d says:

As I was looking through the digital gallery, I was wondering how the order was determined. I looks like they are all over the place. Some will say 3 hours ago followed by one that says 7 hours ago. Some shots have ‘in x minutes’ under them. What does that mean?

If one’s photo is on the invitation to hang site, how would they go about finding it?

Chase Jarvis says:

hi james. good question – we are currently approving hundreds of images per hour for to go into the online gallery and apparently we’re hammering the tumblr servers. the time stamps are all over the map. you should just consider that images are rolling in as come to us, just delayed for the approval process.

that said…your photos are there, trust me. I know it’s initially that one’s goal might be to find one’s OWN photos, i’d like to encourage you take a different approach – look at other photos. there are some amazing images. your photos are there, trust me.

jamesd3rd says:

Chase,

Thanks for the response. Don’t get me wrong, I have been looking at A LOT of submittals. I’m amazed at the shots people have been sending. It just kind or re-emphasizes how far I have to go just to get a little better.

And to think that some of these would have probably NEVER been seen by anyone had it not been for this project.

Jonathan says:

Let’s make sure we set the “record” straight.

As far as I can tell, the largest “snapshot” photo exhibition took place in New York City following September 11.

“Here is New York”
http://www.guernicamag.com/features/2093/linfield_10_15_10/

The number I keep seeing is 5000 images hung throughout several spaces.

The book that came from it is amazing.

Luke McCoy says:

Great project. I just submitted this pic of a 4 year old Golden Sioux Mardi Gras Indian I took last weekend at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. http://bit.ly/j4DvVp

Josh Zytkiewicz says:

Hey Chase, will you be contacting the photographers whose work you choose to hang each day? Or will we have to visit the Ace Hotel?

Scott in AZ says:

Hi Chase,
I gotta say, you really have given me a lot of knowledge and provided a great template for guys like me who are self taught. I’ve been very hesitant to release some my photos for fear of them being pirated, but after the last Creative Live with Zack, and after hearing about this project today, if figured it’s about time I try to get out there. One last thing, I just wanted you to know that I have really benefited from the many hours of instruction from yourself and those folks that have appeared on Creative Live and I just wanted to say thanks man. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for the knowledge. And thanks for the window into other perspectives.

Scott

P.S. – My only suggestion for this event (and I think you may have already mentioned this) is that if someone’s shot is chosen to hang in the gallery it would be great to just have the knowledge that we were picked since most of us can’t be there to see it ourselves. Just my two cents. :) – Cheers!

Chase says:

thanks for the feedback – we’re aware of it and we’re working on it!!

Looking forward to seeing this project evolve and grow. How are you approaching your snapshot shooting over the next 30 days?

jonathan says:

nice work chase, I assume the bed is there for whoever is working around the clock to get some rest? Either that or something dodgy going on late night in the jarvis camp.

Angelo says:

This is a cool idea… But, why is there a bed in the middle of the gallery?

Lori says:

Yea…seriously…why the bed?

Chase says:

i’ll explain the bed in a future post. great question :)

Tynan Clark says:

I was in NYC a week ago! I’m from Northern Minnesota, I’ll share some snapshots from my school road trip!

Kathy says:

AMEN to this project!!!!!!! My heart is happy to see this!

Ray Carcases says:

Dear Chase,

I have always liked you and thought well of you and really have no ill will to you or anything you do. I’ve learned a lot from your videos, blog posts, etc. You were one of the guys I most admired when I got back into photography four years ago.

But I am honestly disappointed by this “event”. I’ll tell you why.

Professional photographers are always cautioned to avoid doing or providing work for free for the promise of “exposure” because this is often a ruse for someone to obtain images without having to pay for them. Now, you’re asking us to provide you with images so that they can be hung in a gallery alongside yours as part of an event? How is this any different?

You are asking your followers to provide you with free images with the unstated appeal of having their work being potentially seen in a NY gallery (I say potentially because if someone sends you a crap image, I doubt it will be displayed). Admittedly, having work in a NY gallery is something most photographers will never get the opportunity to do. But, while possible, it’s highly implausible that someone will see a contributor’s work and say to themselves “I like that work, let me see if I can pay him for more work” since said person has already done work for free.

I know we can get into this long discussion on the essence of sharing and how sites like Flickr and Facebook facilitate the sharing of images and “it’s part of the new reality”. But this reality doesn’t talk much about actually paying the artist. That’s a big omission. It’s very disappointing that you are essentially crowdsourcing free work as part of an event. Maybe you don’t see it that way and your intentions are 100% altruistic and noble, but the reality is what it is, no matter how noble the thoughts behind it.

Again, I have no malice towards you, you’ve given a lot and I’ve listed my real name and email information and am not hiding behind some mask. I love what you and Craig Swanson do with creativeLIVE and you’re a Nikon shooter. But this is really disappointing.

Regards,

Ray Carcases

Chase says:

@ray. sorry ray, seems like there must be a disconnect. there is no event, no money, no commerce, no paid, no free. just a visual, conceptual, collaborative art project.

Like Chase says…. NO MONEY, no commerce, etc*…… HENCE THE REASON TO NEED A “RIGHTS GRAB”
(section #2)

http://www.invitationtohang.com/terms_of_submission

Props for simple easy to read language, but It would be nice to know why the rights grab. There could be better ways.

Dendy P. says:

how can i know when my photos are being printed and hang in the gallery in ACE hotel and displayed in the tumblr site? do you like give a notification or something on my email? thanks :)

Magda Rakita says:

love the idea! just uploaded my snap!

Great concept, project, and reason for it. Look forward to contributing a great photograph, I mean snapshot to your cause. My mind has already gone off thinking about what a snapshot really is, what is its essence, its reason for being, the reason one takes it, what the subject must be and why…what a thought experiment!

Thanks for inviting me in Chase. I submitted a few shots. Sending the word out.

Thatcher says:

This is so perfect. Just brilliant! I’m speechless.
THANK YOU!

Julie says:

Chase – I am so excited for this project. Such a cool idea!

I think it’s a cool project, I like the collaborative/everyone-from-everywhere-right-now approach. But honestly – if you weren’t Chase “Mr. Cool” Jarvis, you’d probably get a lot of hate from people saying that you’re using other people’s work without paying them.

Maybe. But those people would be gooses wouldn’t they. And i’d be tempted to say to them. “Do you honestly believe that with the success that Chase has enjoyed over the past few substantiated by his portfolio, and commissions by large companies on International Campaigns that he needs to use other people’s work without paying them, but rather he might just be encouraging people to shoot more, throw the shackles off the demands of that come with commercial briefs, and collaborate on a project that gets back to some simple approaches to photography for those who wish to participate.”That’s what I’d be tempted to say to those people.

jim gerlach says:

I love the idea and execution but I have a problem with taking ownership (read the fine print) of the images without compensation to the artists. Could have easily licensed with creative commons

This is so inspiring, I am everyday more impressed and happy to be part of the great photography community. I feel I am part of it and these project just adds to that feeling in more ways that I can imagine.
I have to admit that it made me change the way I think about snap shots, even when I take them regularly, specially of day to day activities with my son, I always felt they were only for me to treasure. I am happy that someone thinks otherwise and snap me out of it.

Brian Jones says:

Also, not a bad way to market the new Polaroid products, right Chase?

This is such a great idea!!!

Scott MacKenzie says:

Damn, I Love this stuff!

Jennifer L. says:

Great project! I was already planning a trip to NYC in June. Will the installation only be up until June 10th? Or later?

Ox says:

Cool stuff chase! im now sending my images, and hoping to be picked :)

Saludos desde Temuco Chile!!!

Kathleen says:

“…blender”
“…magical special sauce.”
“…can’t hold individual hands…”
“…living gallery…”
“…not sold, not bartered…”

The announcement was elloquent enough for me.

Wow, truly inspired by this project – I really miss those unplanned snapshots I used to take…

Already submitted one!

Go Chase! lol

Shawn says:

This is an amazing awesome idea, just uploaded a few (and just joined Tumblr as well) Thanks Chase!!

joop says:

This could be interesting, i’ll check back regularly to see how the project is coming along!

Great project, very inspiring.

Will Foster says:

This is rad. I am interested in seeing how this project pans out, and I may have to do something about submitting to it! :-)

JasonL says:

Very cool. Just booked a flight from Missouri to NYC to check it out in person!. June 14th – 18th.

awesome project, chase!
i’m definitely going to submit some of my work…

Chase…

Amazing concept! Great location to hang out for a month AND present something like this (I love the ACE in Portland) The idea of connection through anonymous collaboration really speaks to me, as it focuses not on individual glory or recognition but on a community of individuals creating a larger “whole”! Good luck and enjoy being right in the middle of this!

Brian

Jennifer says:

This is a some great inspiration and it is bringing people around the world together! AMAZING! Thanks Chase Jarvis!

Steve says:

AWESOME!! Thanks for your inspiration Chase!

Eddie Lee says:

Chase, awesome project!!! Wicked ideas !!!Cant wait to see how its turns out man!!! Best wishes all da way from Malaysia (South-eastern Asia)

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