ARGUS: Organic Visual Archive

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ARGUS: Organic Visual Archive
Curated by: James Pepper Kelly

1821 West Hubbard Street
Suite 209
Chicago, IL 60622
August 25th, 2013 - August 25th, 2013
Opening: August 25th, 2013 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

West Loop/West Town
By Appointment Only
archive, archive photography, Filter Photo, Filter Photo Festival, photography, installation, conceptual


The exhibition aspect of ARGUS is open through Sunday, August 25th and still open to new participants! You can register for the event on Facebook here

For the current entries to the archive, including images, artist info, etc., please visit the ARGUS Tumblr.


This is an open exhibition for all members of the wider photography community. With your help, we plan on collectively building ARGUS: Organic Visual Archive. Please join us!

ARGUS will have two manifestations:
(1) a fluid, month-long exhibition at Johalla Projects, and
(2) a comprehensive index based on that exhibition.

EXHIBITION: 8/2/13-8/25/13
• Open to the public for viewing during standard gallery hours, no cost to participate.
• Entries must be photographic, as defined by the participant.
• Entries must have been created within the last five years.
• All entries meeting these criteria will be shown.
• Closing reception on Sunday, August 25th.

• A comprehensive index of all work included in the exhibition, based on classification forms completed by participants.
• Will include complete documentation of the exhibition itself throughout the month.
• Will be made available online and provided to all participants in PDF form.

ARGUS: Organic Visual Archive is a community experiment in curating and archiving. The project has several goals:

1. To create a space for photographers, image makers, and artists to share their work with the larger community, to start conversations between makers and the general public, and to show how different types of work relate to and inform each other.

2. To democratize the gallery space by subverting the standard artist-gallery relationship and allowing participants open and equal access to the space.

3. To achieve a greater understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of organizational systems, in regard to both the standard gallery structure and hegemonic systems of classification.

4. To generate a physical space that acknowledges and, both positively and negatively, reflects contemporary enthrallment with image culture.

5. To make the archive available online, with documentation of the ARGUS exhibition included, to allow for later analysis and review.

To participate in the ARGUS exhibition, artists are requested to bring their work to Johalla Projects during active gallery hours. Artists will be required to fill out a participant agreement form and a classification form for the ARGUS archive. When these forms are completed, participants will then install their work within the gallery as they see fit. Standard hanging tools (drill, nails, level) will be provided, but wall labels and any other extras must be provided by the participants themselves. Ongoing documentation will record changes to ARGUS as work is added and removed from the gallery over the course of the month.

The standard active gallery hours for dropping-off work and visiting ARGUS will be the first three Fridays in August (8/2, 8/9, 8/16) from 4:00-8:00 pm. If additional gallery hours are added, they will be announced on the ARGUS Facebook event page. If you would like to participate and need to schedule a specific time for drop-off, please contact the archivists at ARGUS will also accept work entered by mail. For complete information, please contact the archivists using the email address above.

There will also be a closing reception on Sunday, August 25th from 3:00-7:00 pm. The reception is open to all, and will provide participants with an opportunity to see the final version of ARGUS. Participants will be able to de-install their work from 5:00-7:00. Please contact the archivists at if you need to arrange for a different pick-up time.

There is no limit to the number of entries per participant. The archivists may choose to limit the active exhibition of work as they see fit. Participants may remove or replace their entries at any point during the exhibition. All work must be picked up by the closing day of the exhibition, Sunday, August 25th.

ARGUS: Organic Visual Archive is organized by James Pepper Kelly with the assistance and support of Filter Photo.

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