I spy 2021…is now live! The online exhibition runs from October 25 to February 28, 2022.
I spy… is a mail art program created by UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness. This year, 6 participating artists were mailed a disposable camera and a unique, crowd-sourced text prompt. They were instructed to photograph whatever they want, as long as one photograph responds to the prompt. UNIT/PITT chose nine unedited photographs from each roll to showcase online.
This year’s online exhibition features photographs taken between August-September 2021 by andi icaza-largaespada, Brandon Leung, Daniela Rodriguez Chevalier, Jae Lew, Meesh QX and Sidi Chen.
This year’s participating artists were selected by Board Members Aileen Bahmanipour and Jennifer Huang, and Program Coordinator Rachel Lau, through an open call for emerging and student artists.
Sourced through an open-call, the prompts this year have been written by Ada Dragomir, Timothy Fernandes, Daniesh Mann, and Yasmine Whaley-Kalaora.
Thanks to Madison Lemke of Dev Drop for developing and scanning the photos.
2021 artist bios
andi icaza-largaespada is an artist, researcher and facilitator with ties and responsibilities to Nicaragua, Central America, and BIPOC and immigrant communities in so-called Canada and abroad. Queer theory, archives and ecology inform her interdisciplinary audiovisual and writing practice. Their work observes belonging and resistance, searching for possibilities within tensions. Website
Brandon Leung is a writer and photographer whose chosen medium is film photography. He photographs the everyday world around him. Though many of his photographs depict candid events and the urban environment, they express an interest beyond “street photography,” namely in public space, history, and identity. Website
Daniela Rodríguez Chevalier (she/ella) is passionate about analogue practices, poetry & hybrid forms, art making in community, and independent radio. Her work has appeared in Discorder Magazine, at the AHVA gallery and as wallpapers on friends’ phones. She lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ nations. Instagram
Jae Lew is a media artist and filmmaker currently residing in Unceded Coast Salish Territories. Their practice is situated at a place of visibility and invisibility; their work deals with topics of spirituality, disability and gender. They recently completed a degree in New Media and Sound Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Instagram
Meesh QX (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans visual art, performance, writing, film, and animation. Across these varied mediums a uniting theme in Meesh’s work is an exploration of identity including aspects of gender, race, and intergenerational ties. Website
Sidi Chen is a traveling queer artist whose practice addresses the intersectionality of the body, community, and the environment. Through his interdisciplinary practice across arts, science, and social engagements, Chen is passionate about utilizing arts for community research, relationship building, and incubating land-based kinships. Website
The inaugural I spy… in 2020 featured photographs by Gloria Wong, Jackie Dives, jaz whitford, Katayoon Yousefbigloo, Mona Fani, Phoebe Huang, Rachel Lau, Rebecca Wang, Ryley O’Byrne, and Svava Tergesen, and can be revisited here.
Community I spy…
This year, we added something new to I spy… Inspired by the enthusiastic response to our call for crowd-sourced prompts, we hosted a community version of I spy… on Instagram throughout September. In anticipation of the photographs from our participating artists, we invited our community to show us the world through their lens for a month.
View the photos on UNIT/PITT’s Instagram.