collaborative residency and exhibition with Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux

Installation view of the tilt/SHIFT exhibition

clicker icon tilt/SHIFT exhibition catalog

clicker icon tilt/SHIFT videos

In the summer of 2014, the Cannon Gallery of Art at Western Oregon University invited Stephanie Boluk, a scholar and media theorist from Pratt Institute, and Patrick LeMieux, an artist and game designer from Duke University, to undertake a collaborative residency with Daniel Tankersley, an artist on faculty at WOU. From July 7 to 17, these three artists engaged the gallery, the campus, and the state of Oregon to produce tilt/SHIFT, an exhibition of a dozen new artworks focusing on a network of photographic images, graphic user interfaces, media archeology, and site-specific art.

The term “tilt-shift” refers to a photographic technique in which the angle (tilt) and position (shift) of a lens are skewed in relation to the film or digital sensor. This can be used to produce a kind of hyperselective focus, blurring all but a thin, sharp plane within an image–an effect producing miniaturized or toylike appearances. The same narrowing of visual attention is enacted by a “manicule,” the miniature, pointing hand that first appeared in medieval manuscripts and is commonly used to represent the mouse cursor in computer operating systems. Click, drag, tilt, shift: both tilt-shift photography and the manicule icon operate according to an aesthetic of selection.

Paper or plastic? Coke or Pepsi? iPhone or Android? In the 21st century, selection expands from the conscious choice of individuals into a collective nonconscious–a cultural ideology structuring attention and desire. Upvote, like, heart, favorite: ubiquitous media platforms like Google and Facebook aggregate billions of individual selections into an invisible economy of clicks, flowing through The Dalles like the waters of the Columbia River. From a giant shift key to tilt-shift photography, and from shifted and tilted gallery furniture to the shifts and tilts of arcade play, tilt/SHIFT renders the culture of selection visible by appropriating its aesthetic.

The exhibition was free and open to the public September 15 – October 8, 2014. The Dan & Gail Cannon Gallery of Art is located in Campbell Hall at Western Oregon University, 345 N Monmouth Ave, Monmouth, OR 97361. Gallery hours are 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.

The Cannon Gallery hosted a reception and artist talk (in part via video conference) from 4:30 – 6:00pm, Wednesday, October 1, 2014.