Information and artist fee

I SPY…is a disposable camera mail art project created by UNIT/PITT. Inaugurated in 2020, this will be the third and most ambitious iteration of I SPY…

A total of 30 artists will be mailed disposable cameras with return postage. Each individual will be given a unique text prompt written by poet, editor and writer Jane Shi that begins, “I spy with my little lens…” 

Artists will have one month to photograph whatever they choose, as long as one photograph in their roll responds directly to the prompt. Nine photographs from each roll will be published to UNIT/PITT’s website and social media, and will be shown as an online exhibition. The photographs and artist bios will also be published in a photo catalogue designed by Ricky Castanedo-Laredo and printed with Hemlock in Fall 2022.

Applications will be juried by U/P’s Programming Committee. Successful applicants will receive $500, high-resolution scans of their photographs, and copies of the photo catalogue.

Who can apply

This program is open to post-secondary and graduate students from any area of study, and emerging and early career artists and cultural practitioners.* Eligible applicants must currently reside on or have strong connections to the unceded land belonging to the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, also known as Vancouver BC.

*Borrowing this definition from the British Columbia Arts Council, an emerging and early career artist or cultural practitioner is someone under 30 years of age, or someone who has completed a peer-recognized basic training in their discipline or art form within the last five years.

How to apply

Email with a short statement about yourself and your interest in this project (maximum 300 words), a curriculum vitae, and 3-5 links to view your work online. Deadline to apply is Monday, July 25 at 4PM PST.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by Friday, August 5.

Promotional background photo by Rachel Lau for I spy…2020.