Auditorium by James Rajotte
Summer 2006 Hot Shot James Rajotte is adding another notch to his belt. In addition to being a Hot Shot and featured in PDN's 2006 Photo Annual of Student Work, James has earned his Master's in Fine Arts in photography from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY.
The culmination of his blood, sweat, and tears, (trust me, I am also an M.F.A. candidate and it's rougher than you think) will be on display at the Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, 31 Prince Street, Rochester, NY from April 7th - 27th. That's right, the opening is this Saturday (tomorrow!) at 7:00 p.m.
Scott, 2006 by James Rajotte
With blasted, James joins the ranks of photographers working as sociologists, including, but not limited to, Phillip Toledano, made famous by his portraits of video gamers, and Paul Graham who photographed people watching television in the late 80's and early 90's.
He's in good company but his photos stand out because they are slightly ambiguous. His subjects seem genuinely engaged but sometimes sad, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes alienated, and always alone, illuminated by the off-color glow of a monitor, and seated in surrounding darkness. The work gives rise to the questions he poses:
What, if any, are the visual opportunity costs of an electronic society? Why look at actual reality when we are able [to] fulfill our intellectual and emotional needs anonymously and vicariously via meta-realities?
These questions also supplement a conversation that has been floating around the Jen Bekman Gallery blog
regarding avatars, Second Life
, and even virtual galleries.
The show proves to be worth the trip to Rochester. If you absolutely can't make it, do see the work on Rajotte's website.