Snap + Share: Transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks, an exhibit on display through Aug. 4 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, explores the way people have shared photographs over the history of the medium. Here's Dutch artist Erik Kessels' installation 24 Hrs in Photos, a mountain of 350,000 random photos uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period and piled in an 840-square-foot room.
A video projection titled Addressability displays Jeff Guess' custom software, which pulls the most recent selfie uploaded to Twitter in real time and deconstructs the image into its individual pixels using colorful floating shapes. Once an image is gone, a new one pops up in real time.
In the '70s, conceptual artist On Kawara sent mass-produced postcards to friends and colleagues imprinted with his waking time.
"By sending postcards in the 1970s with the messages, 'I got up at 8:15' or 'I got up at 8:22 a.m.,' he is asserting, 'I'm here, I exist, I'm a real person,'" said Clément Chéroux, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA. "And this is essentially what we are doing today with Snapchat and Instagram."
German artist Aram Bartholl transformed the red map icon used in Google Maps into a large-scale sculpture he typically installs in front of museums or city centers. A version now sits atop the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art downtown to mark the museum as both destination and center.
Yes, that's a taxidermied cat peeking down from a hole in the ceiling at SFMOMA. There's probably no symbol of internet culture as pervasive as the cat. Visitors to the Snap + Share exhibit are, of course, encouraged to snap and share Eva and Franco Mattes' creation, titled Ceiling Cat.
In 1997, before phones had cameras, French software engineer Philippe Kahn, a proud new father, sent this grainy photo of his newborn daughter to family and friends. He did so using a contraption he cobbled together from his mobile phone, a digital camera and a linked online network.