2016 Annual Juried Competition
Commercial interests seek to access our lives as often and in as many places as possible. This has become remarkably easy due to advancements in technology. Communication in the digital age almost requires one to keep a portable computer on hand or on person at all times. This, of course, has become the primary portal for mass marketers. However, even the spaces where we are legally prohibited from using such devices, particularly while driving, have become a channel for even greater commercial saturation.
The electronic billboard has enabled companies to post multiple advertisements on a monitor one would ordinarily find in a theater. Glowing images cycle through these screens on average of one every five to seven seconds. Ads from casinos, law firms, restaurants, religious organizations and other local happenings are among the most common along Interstate 70 from the border of Illinois to the border of Kansas.
I began making long exposures of electronic billboards along the I-70 corridor between St. Louis and Kansas City. A long exposure records all these cycling advertisements and overexposes the whole billboard screen. The resulting photograph renders the billboards as a simple white light and portrays the highway free from these roadside distractions.
Dan Gemkow is an artist and instructor of Photography. He is originally from New Hampshire and grew up in the suburban Chicago area. He received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Missouri. Since completion of his MFA, Gemkow taught both traditional darkroom and digital photography. Currently, he lives and works in Chicago.
Gemkow’s photographs have been exhibited in several galleries and museums including the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Kaunus Photo Festival in Kaunus, Lithuania, the PH21 Gallery in Budapest, Hungary, the Rogue Space Chelsea in New York City, the Masur Museum of Art in Louisiana, the New Hampshire Institute of Art, the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles, Missouri, the Kevin Milligan Gallery in the Bay Area of California, the Black Box Gallery in Oregon, the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont, the Midwest Center for Photography in Kansas, the Tubac Center for the Arts in Arizona, several galleries around the Midwest and Gallery MM in Yokohama, Japan.
Artist’s website: www.dangemkow.com