Never been to Houston

Variable sizes

A series of digital images

The series is part of the exhibition, Never Been to Houston, organized by artist Jon Rubin and curator Andrea Grover.

Excerpts from the exhibition statement:

Imagine a city that you've only seen in reproductions or perhaps have merely heard about. A place, like many others, that exists only through rumors, stories, novels, the nightly news, magazines, movies and the Internet. Using these secondhand clues as firsthand research material, invited worldwide contributors - who have Never Been to Houston - will photographically document (without leaving home) what they imagine Houston to look like. Contributors will upload their photos daily to an on-line Flickr site, which will be projected as a slideshow in Houston's Lawndale gallery. Anything that anyone might take a photograph of is fair game. Just as long as it feels like Houston.
For the contributors to this exhibition, the task is to search through their daily life for clues to a foreign place, for the possibility that somewhere else exists right under their nose and that, like some clunky form of astral projection, you can travel to other lands without leaving home. For viewers in Houston, it's a chance to witness an unusual mirroring of their globally projected image. In addition to the traditions of storytelling and travel guides, new information technologies are expanding the possibility of knowing a place to which you've never traveled. Three-dimensional electronic maps, 360 degree images, hosts of amateur and commercial websites and podcasts about a given city, its economy, demographics, culture and subculture have opened the way for a new vernacular of representation.

In the end, Never Been to Houston is an experimental, virtual travelogue to the city that the New York Times opines "refuses to assume a simply identity."

Participants: Roger Ballen, South Africa; James Charlton, Aukland, New Zealand; Takayuki Yamamoto, Nagoya, Japan; Eiji Watanabe, Nagoya, Japan; John Marriot, Toronto, Canada; Peter Edmunds, Canberra, Australia; Lindsay Perth, Edinburgh, Scotland; Elia Pekica, Zagreb, Kroatia; Marko Pekica, Zagreb, Kroatia; Jon Rubin, Pittsburgh, USA; Francesco Nonino, Bologna, Italy; Rafael Barriga, Quito, Ecuador; Blue Rihn Productions (Jan Van Woensel & Vanessa Albury), NY, USA; Elena Perlino, Saluzzo, Italy; Ana Rodriguez, Quito, Ecuador; Stetti Salem, Germany; Sean McFarland, SF, USA; Amirali Ghasemi, Tehran, Iran; Heidi Hove, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Kurt Kiefer, Seattle, USA.