The Sweat of their Face: Portraying American Workers
November 3, 2017-September 3, 2018
Curated by David C. Ward and Dorothy Moss
The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC

“The Sweat of Their Face” combines art and social history with representations of American laborers across genres and centuries of art. Artists such as Winslow Homer, Dorothea Lange, Elizabeth Catlett and Lewis Hine depict laborers throughout the changing landscape of America; from child and slave laborers to miners, railway and steel workers, to the modern gradual disappearance of the worker. Approximately 75 objects in all media (including video) highlight a point of connection between the artists and their predominately anonymous subjects.

This exhibition will feature loans from such notable institutions as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Phillips Collection and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, among others...This exhibition is curated by Portrait Gallery Curator of Painting and Sculpture Dorothy Moss and Historian Emeritus, David C. Ward. An accompanying catalogue will feature essays from both curators, as well as British art historian John Fagg.

Exhibit of the Week
The Week
Loren Talbot
January 12, 2018

The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying the American Worker
Hardcover Book
Smithsonian Books
Editors, David C. Ward and Dorothy Moss

Picturing Youth: Selections from McWorkers and Gameboys
November 3, 2017-January 7, 2018
Alvin Butz Gallery
The Banana Factory
Shauna Frischkorn’s photographs deal with popular culture in everyday life. Picturing Youth includes a selection of photographs from two of Frischkorn’s bodies of work, McWorkers and Game Boys. Within Shauna’s work she creates an ironic yet historical dialogue between her contemporary subjects and the style of Renaissance portraiture. The subjects are frozen in a moment in time, yet they create a commentary on ongoing challenges faced by working class individuals and a theatrical quality to video game players who appear passive but are actually performing fast-paced maneuvers and executing split-second decisions in a moment of concentration.

The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers
Washington City Paper
by Louis Jacobson
December 18, 2017

The American Worker: Exploited from the beginning
The Washington Post
by Philip Kennicott
November 20, 2017

National Portrait Gallery Celebrates Workers
The New York Times
by Noah Weiland
October 25, 2017

The Sweat of Their Face’: Portraits of the American Worker, Through the Centuries
Kelly Caminero
September 4, 2017
"Work ethic is a core value of America. It is the fuel that propels the tenacity of the American dream. The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers, a book that accompanies a coming exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., showcases a multifaceted collection of hardworking Americans that represent social history across centuries of art.  Artists such as Dorothea Lange, Winslow Homer, and Elizabeth Catlett depict the shifting landscape of America; from steel workers to child and slave laborers and miners. In addition, the National Portrait Gallery, which will open the exhibit on Nov. 3, analyzes working-class subjects as they appear in artworks by artists including Shauna Frischkorn, Lewis Hine, and others."

Finalist Beca Photon Festival 2017
International Festival of Photojournalism
Valencia, Spain
May 2017

The Berlin Foto Biennale: 4th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography
September 2016
Berlin, Germany

The 8th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers
Portrait Finalist

2015 FL3TCH3R Exhibit: Social and Politically Engaged Art
October 5 to December 7, 2015
Reece Museum
East Tennessee State University

ONWARD Compe 15 (2015)
Juried by Elinor Carucci 
Philadelphia, PA

Print Center Best of Show / The University of the Arts
October 31-December 5, 2014
Gallery 1401
Philadelphia, PA

“Best of Show” is the annual collaborative effort between The Photo Review and the Photography department at the University of the Arts, and features a diverse collection of prize-winning work by 16 photographers. This annual exhibition gives the public the opportunity to view the juried work featured in The Photo Review’s 2014 competition issue. The University of the Arts has a longstanding relationship with The Photo Review, an independent journal of photography founded in 1976. This year’s winners are Matthew Arnold (Seventh Prize), Joan Lobis Brown (Tenth Prize), Victoria Crayhon (Ninth Prize), Jess Dugan (Fourth Prize), Shauna Frischkorn (First Prize), Deborah Hamon (Fourteenth Prize), Kerry Mansfield (Eleventh Prize), Rick Rembisz (Fifth Prize), Ilisa Katz Rissman (Third Prize), Lee Saloutos (Sixth Prize), Christine Shank (Thirteenth Prize), David Soffa (Eighth Prize), Jamey Stillings (Twelfth Prize), Jeremy Underwood (Sixteenth Prize), Dawn Whitmore (Second Prize), and David Wolf (Fifteenth Prize). The processes represented include traditional Type-C chromogenic color prints, photographic film and digital prints with archival pigmented inks.  The 2014 competition was juried by Jennifer Blessing, senior curator of Photography at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.

The 2014 Photo Review Competition
First Place Award
Juried by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography,, Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY

Course and Discourse at The State Museum
February 15 - May 5, 2013
An Exhibition of Professor and Student Artwork features the outstanding BA and BFA programs in our surrounding community and highlights the conversations that occur between professors and students during the creative process. Art professors from seven regional colleges and universities were selected and each chose one student to include. The title, Course and Discourse, refers not only to classes and dialogue, but also to the development of personalities, visual languages and life paths. The following institutions will be participating: Franklin and Marshall College, Millersville University, PA College of Art and Design, Lebanon Valley College, Messiah College, Elizabethtown College and Wilson College. The exhibit will run from February 15 until May 5, 2013. An artist reception will be held Friday, March 15, 2013 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania from 6-9pm.

Photo Review 2012 Competition Winners
Juried by Peter Barberie, Curator of Photographs, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.

Print Center 86th Annual International Competition: Photography
Juror: Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Semi-Finalists & Finalists have been Announced! The semi-finalists and finalists will be featured in an online exhibition, June 2012 – March 2013. Three artists will be chosen to mount solo exhibitions at The Print Center, which will take place January – March 2013.

Audim Culver, Bloomington, IN
Sergio De La Torre, San Francisco, CA
Shauna Frischkorn, Willow Street, PA
Ana Galan, Chiloeches, Spain
Judy Gelles, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer Greenburg, Chicago, IL
Talia Greene, Philadelphia, PA
Anne Massoni, Asbury Park, NJ
Rachelle Mozman, Brooklyn, NY
Tina Schula, Brooklyn, NY

Lancaster Lens, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA
13 Artists
January 6-February 26, 2012
"Lancaster Museum of Art Focuses on Focus"

What the camera captures is but a fraction of what the eye of man sees.
But that's still an impressive output, if an upcoming exhibit at Lancaster Museum of Art is any indication. Opening Jan. 6 during First Friday —the monthly celebration of arts and culture in downtown Lancaster — the exhibit, titled "Lancaster Lens," focuses on the works of 13 regional photographers whose points of view are as varied as the photographic landscape.

No Alternative Photography Exhibition
13 Through This Lens Gallery, Raleigh Durum, NC
October 22 - November 31, 2011

Kevin Logghe-Director

Let me start by saying that I have fresh respect for the individuals, galleries and organizations that conduct photography competitions. I have curated exhibitions before, but they were always in conjunction with an established institution and with invited artists with whom I had been in planning/negotiations for a rather long time. Creating an international competition of handcrafted photography from scratch was an entirely different animal. Now I understand why when I first floated this idea over a year ago, some looked at me with knowing (and dubious) smiles.

Yet, five weeks from today, it will open to the public, online, on the pages of “No Alternatives” and on the walls of Through This Lens Gallery. Submissions were received from seven nations in over 16 handcrafted processes including at least one I have never heard of before. The range of creativity, styles and subject matter exceeded my most optimistic dreams.

Unlike many juried shows we specifically asked our jurors not to put together a “themed” show or one that “flowed”. The intention in the jurying process was very simple, choose the best. I understand that “best” is a highly subjective term. What it means in terms of Hand+Eye is this; works that advance the concept of handcrafted photography, most effectively balancing creativity and technique without sacrificing one for the other.

A frequent comment between the jurors and myself during the selection process was “We have enough work to hang several worthy shows.” Which is a pleasant bind to be in on one hand, but on the other hand it means saying “no” to work you believe deserves to be seen and promoted.

The book/exhibition/online gallery will make it clear that contemporary handcrafted photography is neither a repository of nostalgia nor captive to the necessarily limited imaginations of its so-called “masters”. It is vibrantly alive and constantly changing, slave neither of the past nor senselessly driven by constantly changing technology and fashion.

At its best it is highly personal, visualized and realized utilizing every bit of talent and life experience the artist can bring to bear. Everyone will not connect to all of it, but all of it will connect to a part of its viewing audience on a truly gut-level.

Audio / Visual, the PowerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY
October 20-November 20, 2011
Sam Barzilay
"It is with the utmost excitement that we share with you the list of participating artists for the New York Photo Festival's upcoming juried exhibition, Audio/Visual.  We would like to extend our gratitude to our stellar jury for their time, and their unceasing commitment to photography. But most importantly, we would like to thank all of you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at the opening of what promises to be a truly exceptional Fall Invitational show!"

Adjacencies, Sharadin Gallery, Kutztown University
September, 2010
by Wendy Edsall-Kerwin

Ever wonder if there’s a common thread connecting artists in a particular region? Sharadin Art Gallery at Kutztown University asked that same question. Their answer is Adjacencies, an exhibition showcasing the work of ten artists from Berks, Lehigh, and Lancaster counties.

Running from September 9th through October 10th, Adjacencies seeks to highlight the richness of artistic practice in the region. The exhibition’s artists include photographers, mixed media artists, a printmaker, and textile artists.

An opening reception will be held for Adjacencies on Thursday, September 9th from 4 until 6pm. The Sharadin Art Gallery is located on the Campus of Kutztown University on the corner of College Blvd and W. Main St in Kutztown, PA. For more information contact the gallery at 610-683-4546 or visit their website at

Rehearse, Rewind, Repeat
Ohio University, Athens, OH
January, 2010
Juror, Kelli Connell
Four photographs from the Fall Play / Spring Musical were selected to be part of the Rehearse, Rewind, Repeat: Photography, Video & Performance Exhibition at Ohio University's Seigfred Gallery in Athens, Ohio.

Rehearse, Rewind, Repeat will be on display from January 12- February 18th, 2010 with an opening reception from 6-8pm on January 12.

Jen Beckman Gallery, New York
Hot Shot 2007 Winners Announced
November 20, 2007
Jurors: Joerg Colberg, Stephen Frailey, Darius Himes, Youngna Park, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Ian Baguskas, Christine Collins, and Joseph Holmes.

The Star-Ledger / Newark, New Jersey
"In Philadelphia"
We see glaze-eyed kids staring at Xbox and "Grand Theft Auto."
April 28, 2007

Photographer Shauna Frischkorn sees "saints in states of ecstasy or rapture," according to the press release for her show this weekend at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

"Game Boys: Photographs of Shauna Frischkorn" shows teenage boys in the throes of satisfying their video-game fix. They're photographed in the style of Renaissance portraits, with chiaroscuro lighting.The photos are both creepy and beautiful.

The Art Alliance is at 251 S. 18th St. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (215) 545-4302. - Carrie Stetler

Mother Jones Magazine
"Game Boys: Photo Essay by Shauna Frischkorn"
March-April, 2007

Eyes cast upward in ecstatic contemplation—500 or 600 years ago these expressions might have been found in a work by Raphael or Guido Reni. But Shauna Frischkorn, an associate professor of art at Pennsylvania's Millersville University, has captured the agony and the ecstasy of our own age in a wide-ranging series of portraits: no monks or saints, just ordinary teenage boys playing Halo. She says that "while they seem passive, they're actually performing fast-paced maneuvers and executing split-second decisions, making these portraits of intense concentration." Clara Jeffery

Home News Tribune / New Jersey
"Game face: Photographer finds inspiration in slack-jawed boys"
April 4, 2007

Gaming culture has revolutionized leisure time, and it's also had an interesting effect on the politics of growing up.

"There was a time in high school when the star was an athlete who had a certain kind of physic and he had matured at a younger age and he had facial hair at a younger age," said visual artist Shauna Frischkorn. "With video games, you can still look like you're 12 in high school without facial hair and muscles and you can be a complete geek but you're really athletic with video games. I've seen kids with baby faces beating the crap out of big athletic dudes.

"It's changed that hierarchy — that pecking order."

Gaming culture is the focus of Frischkorn's "Game Boys" series of photographs, now showing through April 29 at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art in New York City as part of the "A Privileged Age" exhibition.

Frischkorn shot the kids playing video games at her studio on the campus of Millersville University in Pennsylvania, where she's an associate professor of art.

Getting the gamers to her studio wasn't the easiest thing to do.

"It was hard at first because the parents had to sign a release, and on the surface it said that a woman is looking for boys to come to her studio to play video games," Frischkorn said. "It sounded a little suspicious."

Frischkorn was looking for young dudes because, at this point, gaming culture attracts mostly males.

"Girls might be more social and rather not sit at home in front of a computer," Frischkorn said. "There aren't many games that appeal to young girls."

The photographer faced more challenges once the kids were in the studio.

"They don't ever change the expression on their faces — I panicked and thought this is a bust," Frischkorn says. "Then I started to like that they didn't change their faces, that they had the same kind of expression through out. I'd have a flash right in front of their faces and they don't even see me.

"I started looking at the little nuances of expression. When they did something they liked, you'd see a tiny bit of a smile."

Frischkorn's work was featured in a Time magazine article on gamer culture.

"You don't see the kids' hands, you just see their faces," Frischkorn said. "They're looking at the screen and there is an ambiguity of you don't know what they're looking at. Some reviewers have said that the faces recall the old masters depiction of religious ecstasy. They are so similar to angels."

Angels who won't necessarily be driven to violence because of the games.

"If the kids are violent, the games may make them a better shot, who knows," Frischkorn quipped. "I don't think it would make a good kid bad. If anything, it provides a good outlet for them." Chris Jordan

Trigger Magazine
March 29, 2007
Jan Ebeling + Shauna Frischkorn: A Privileged Age

Jan Ebeling + Shauna Frischkorn: A Privileged Age features 4 large-scale colour diptychs by Ebeling, contrasted with 7 large-scale colour photographs by Frischkorn. This is the first time either series has been shown in a New York gallery. Selected pieces from these projects have been shown previously at the Goethe Institute in Riga (Ebeling) and The Art Alliance in Philadelphia (Frischkorn). This is Ebeling’s first show with Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, while Frischkorn’s work has been included in earlier group shows at the gallery. Ebeling is a young German artist; Frischkorn is American.

Ebeling’s portraits depict teenage athletes, shown close-up in the first panel, and then standing full-figure in the second panel. Ebeling’s photographs explore the role sports play in a youth’s life, forming his sense of self as he moves through puberty into manhood. This is a time of intense personal development, in which aspects like gender, sexual identity, and ego gain increasing importance. Ebeling traveled around the world, photographing athletes in a wide variety of disciplines, including swimming, basketball, soccer, wrestling, skiing, ice hockey, fencing, running, boxing and bull-fighting. Each is posed after practice, while still flushed from exertion, first alone and then girded in his uniform, in situ, surrounded by his teammates. These images speak to a young man’s desire to establish his individuality and to carve out a place for himself within the team. This rite of passage moves a youth from the protective embrace of home and family and situates him in a larger social context. Ebeling’s portraits reveal the specific athlete while examining the nature of adolescent maturation.

Frischkorn likewise chooses to focus on young men. Her series, titled “Game Boys,” depicts youths in the thrall of playing video games. Each boy’s face is etched with an expression that seems to be a mixture of religious fervour and sexual orgasm. Deep in concentration and, ultimately, oblivious to the presence of the photographer, the boys drop their assumed artifice and reveal themselves. The aura of the television screen provides Frischkorn’s pictures with a Caravaggesque sense of dramatic lighting, and allows her to infuse the images with a feeling of rapture. The boys in her photographs bear facial expressions akin to that seen in Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa, and while the saint’s euphoria may seem to exist on a higher plane than what these boys are experiencing, the youths clearly undergo a contemporary form of transverberation.

Popular Photography
Where to Go and What to See
March 27, 2007
This week I'm intrigued by two shows that each feature two photograpahers who study the space and/or moments between two extremes.  First we have the Jan Ebeling and Shauna Frischkorn exhibit at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art in New York. Ebeling's diptych portraits of adolescent boys immersed in their respective worlds of sport (a Spanish Torrero, an Albanian wrestler) portray young men tottering between childhood and adulthood. The full-length image shows of their physical prowess and emphasizes their position as masters of their sport. But the other image, a close-up of the boy's face, often reveals the uncertainty and even fear that lies just below adolescent facades of bravado. Frischkorn's large portraits also capture adolescent boys, this time immobilized and nearly beatific as they stare at the video game their out-of-sight hands frantically control. As with Ebeling, a thoughtful commentary emerges from layered juxtapositions: inert faces vs. flying fingers, Carravagesque lighting vs. mundane subject matter, concentration vs. obliviousness.

Shauna Frischkorn and Jan Ebeling: A Privileged Age
March 29-April 29, 2007
Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art
223 West 21st Street
Suite 2G
New York, NY 10011

Conscientious / Shauna Frischkorn
Contemporary Photographers
by Jorg Colberg
March 13, 2007

Outside the Centers/On the Edge
Traveling Exhibition
January 2006-February 2007

"Suburban seen: PCA&D embraces the ordinary"
Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster, Pennsylvania
March 24, 2006

Boys playing video games. Squatting birds. Floor plans for airports. Paint buckets. There's a lot to see at the new exhibit at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.  But perhaps the most powerful part of the exhibit is its premise of featuring artists who live outside the state's major metropolitan areas - Philadelphia and Pittsburgh - who also are doing interesting, original work, hence "Outside the Centers/On the Edge," the exhibit's title. The show also seeks to feature art institutions "outside the centers" and the show has appeared or will appear at four venues in addition to PCA&D, including Kutztown University, Bucknell University, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and Erie Art Museum. The show was conceived by PCA&D's Gallery Director, Kristy Krivitsky, who said that if you're an artist who doesn't live in New York City, "you're kind of invisible." As the show is displayed in PCA&D's main gallery, the 15 participating artists have a chance to shine. Their work seems to have an extra glow and intrigue when viewed through the lens of the show's theme. The show is accompanied by a comprehensive portfolio that includes artist statements, but the title of the show itself is enough to provoke a distinct reaction to the work. "Outside the Centers" seems to beg the question of what possibly can be found in the ordinary, and when viewed with that question in mind, the work pops with beautiful, poignant ideas and images. Lancaster-area artist Shauna Frischkorn's photographs of teenage boys playing video games are perhaps the most moving example. Photographed in the dark, with only their their faces illuminated, the boys are shockingly beautiful to look at. Their clothing and jewelry hints that their typical video-gaming environment might include a bedraggled basement or otherwise unsavory surroundings, but when all of that is removed, they are a marvel to look at. Zack, who is playing Crash Bandicoot, has pimples dotting his chin and cheeks and peach fuzz. But in Frischkorn's image, he is suddenly - obviously - regal, heroic. By removing the noise around him, Frischkorn has made the beauty of this awkward teen pop. A painting by PCA&D alumnus Carl Gustafson, "The Hallway #3," raises similar questions of what beauty is hidden in the ordinary. In the oil painting, a blur of a man is in the center of an industrial hallway, maybe one you'd stumble on by accident in the back of an apartment house. The man's movement literally disturbs the boring, staid space around him. It is as if the vibrancy of him simply being alive is causing a ripple in the air, like it is otherwise set in an unmoving gel. Has he been thrown in from somewhere else? Is that what happens when being on the "outside" for too long simply makes you burst? This show is a joy to see, particulary in a gallery that is so subject to the ordinary - cars waiting at the light on Prince Street, ugly flooring, the door swinging open - and so embracing of it here.

Aperture Foundation / Portfolio Prize
Editorial Statement/Lesley A. Martin

Typically, portraits are not known for their ability to capture states of action. However, Shauna Frischkorn’s series Game Boys adds a contemporary twist to the form: By photographing teenage boys in states of careful concentration as they play video games, she reveals that today the portrait can capture active moments, as our hardwired world redefines what it means to be active.

Video games are far from a new cultural phenomenon—arcades emerged in the 1970s, even the home video game systems that privatized the experience have now been around for decades. The recent sea change, though, is that the video game industry has adopted the modes of Hollywood films—trailer promotions for games are shown in movie theaters and sophisticated narratives immerse players not just in winning a game, but in becoming an active participant in an evolving narrative. Frischkorn’s smooth-faced gamers, whether playing the notorious Grand Theft Auto, Medal of Honor: Frontline, or Need for Speed, wear the entranced gaze of moviegoers absorbed by a good plot.

In her artist’s statement she writes that her studio setting “lends a theatrical quality to this commonplace activity.” This sense of theatrics created through her attention to lighting and composition, evokes not only the cinematic styling of video games but also the origins of her traditional approach to portraiture, calling to mind Old Master paintings and their subjects’ expressions of religious ecstasy

NY Arts Magazine
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
SYZYGY The Human Remix Art in Motion's fifth annual international festival of time based media was held for a second consecutive year at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California. Last year's AIM festival was held at the Armory's satelite warehouse which, although quite spacious, led to an almost chaotic experience of media in all shapes and forms from elaborate installations to simple computer monitor displays. This year, however, the festival was held at the armory's main building, which is much more intimate. AIM was also more selective and included less participants. While this may be due to the physical space available at the armory, the end result is a highly advanced and sophisticated set of media projects presented with unexpected and welcomed cohesion; something that is quite hard to accomplish when presenting new media in a physical space. This may be because New Media relies on technology which has proven to be most effective everywhere but in the white cube. It is great to see that this year's AIM is quite an exception.

The exhibition offers both invited artists installations as well as open entry projects. The invited artists include Lew Baldwin, Bryan Jackson, Lev Manovich, and Bruce Yonemoto; and the open entry submissions feature works by Mouchette, Stanza, Shauna Frischkorn, Shane Hope, Kit Hung, Eunjung Hwang, Margarete Jahmann and Max Moswtizer, Dennis H. Miller, Rick Mullarky, Sterlin Ruby & Kristen Stoltmann, Jennifer Schmidt, and David Still. (Satellite events are not listed here.)

Upon entering the gallery space we find Game Boys by Shauna Frischkorn. This is a series of photographs of young boys staring at a tv monitor supposedly playing video games. A certain tension develops around these C-Prints as the viewer may wonder if the boys are actually posing or simply playing. Right next to these photographs is the entrance to Lew Baldwin's installation "Duplex", which is actually situated in a separate temporary room. Here a double video projection is set up as a corner piece; both projections present a very short loop of a man running through a tunnel, down a hill, then falling, and turning into a skeleton, then back to a man ready to keep running once again, suddenly freezing and collapsing in an open desserted field, while a woman dressed in white and holding flowers swallows a small moth, (which may actually be a fly). A constant flickering of colors is also part of the montage. Right outside of this room to the right is "Monsters of time" by Eunjung Hwang, which consists of two small monitors presenting playful animations of a pathetic character, which at times is abused by strangers and at others simply lonely, and at others making love with another man (who may be his double--not clear). This wall installation also includes an elaborate illustration made with projected lights of the animated character. At the center of this area we have "The Whippoorwill" by Bryan Jackson, consisting of a giant river cat fish made of resin that is semi transparent. Through its forehead the viewer can see blurred news footage. The giant fish is also accompanied by 5 or 6 river cat fishes (also made of resin) displayed on a shelve to the right, that are almost actual size, all of them with transparencies of frontline news on their foreheads. On the north wall of this gallery space we encounter Manovich's "Soft Cinema: Mission to Earth," which is a digital video projection of a set of files that are compiled to run in real time according to a script that accesses metadata, that then places images on the screen accordingly. While the oral narrative (which is an allegory of the cold war) is always the same, the actual imagery is different each time it replays, as the script will run a different sequence of parameters to choose a new set of files, proposing a different version of the same narrative. Right next to Manovich's piece we encounter a TV monitor on a cart--"Media Cart" by Shane Hope, presenting a self enclosed environment of a set of handcrafted objects that are also presented on the TV performing random activities. On the opposite wall we have another projection called "Nybble-Engine" by Margarete Jahrmann and Max Moswitzer. Unfortunately this project was not working at the time I visited the Armory. As we turn to the back area of the gallery we enter a room specifically showing four pieces by Bruce Yonemoto. Upon entering one encounters on the opposing wall a projection of teenagers walking on the sidewalk in broad daylight, which is actually projected from the other side of the wall. However, the teenager's bodies are cut short by a portable screen. On the left wall, we find a video of a man presented inside a photograph's frame. Here the man confronts the viewer, then a cut, and he reappears covering his mouth with his hand; upon removing it, one discovers that he has no mouth. At the opposite side we have a transparent fiber-glass chair which on its seat presents a monitor with a close-up of a man's asshole fully exposed. The chair is placed on top of four sets of black and white xerox copies of the man's ass. And finally, hovering over the entrance, we find seven tv monitors displayed on a long shelf presenting different loops of a blue sky overseeing a landscape. Leaving Yonemoto's room, we find a long hall way where four videos are screened one at a time, throughout the day. One of them is "couples" by Sterling Ruby and Kirsten Stoltman; where a man takes care of a woman's every need; he picks her up and places her on a chair, then dresses her, then picks her up and takes her to dining table, then to her personal working space where she writes on her laptop while he brings her coffee, and so on. One wonders if this is productive at all as they seem codependent on many levels beyond the physical activities. Walking to the right, we encounter another room painted black where twelve TVs on small pedestals present Marsia Alexander Clark's "Ut Coelum" a music composition carefully orchestrated with different grid patterns of women's faces, who are singing, although at times they appear to be in a state of panic. The images are presented in different color patterns, while the music takes over the room. The twelve monitors present video compositions according to the intensity of the music, changing the patterns starting from the monitors on the outside to the center. And finally as we turn full circle, we find a set of imacs, where all of the net art projects can be experienced. Ironically, there was no internet connection during my visit, but hey! I have the catalog and would always rather experience this section of the exhibit at home.

As it becomes obvious, the projects mainly explore video and film language. However, one thing that the exhibit pulls off that I did not think AIM was able to do in the past is an emphasis on content that goes beyond technical innovation. Story telling is presented as an important aspect--even during a time when database logic may be redefining how to tell a story. This of course is an obvious case here because time based media has always relied on narrative strategies. Manovich's Soft Cinema may be the most obvious example of this, as his work uses files at random to tell the same story. While the projects are interesting for their advancement of video and film language, their forte lies in the fact that the projects in the end are interesting works, regardless of what form is being used to disseminate the idea. However, unlike a more conceptual show, AIM exposes a nice balance between content and form which is rarely found in most media exhibitions. :: Eduardo Navas

Intellingencer Journal / Lancaster, Pennsylvania
March 5, 2004
"Game Boys' - Young faces in other worlds"
Oh, those reviled, violent videogames. Blamed for everything from the fattest generation of kids in the nation's history to the Columbine school massacre of 13, videogames are the same seductive salve that have put the sparkle in teenagers' eyes since they took over the arcade scene in the 1970s.

But it wasn't about the videogames for photographer Shauna Frischkorn, whose 20-portrait show, "Game Boys," features photographs of boys engrossed in the awesome act of videogaming. It also wasn't about the controversy that surrounds videogames. It was the simple act of watching that grabbed her.

"I've always been interested in the act of viewing and how people get really engaged with what they're watching," Frischkorn said. "When I'm at a concert, I always turn around and look at all the people when the house lights come up."

Because portraiture is such a basic, traditional form of photography, Frischkorn includes portrait projects in photography classes she teaches at Millersville University.

"A lot of the girls would photograph their boyfriends sitting on the couch watching television," Frischkorn said. "People would look at them and say, 'Look at the face - that's his videogame face.'"

The term stuck with her. Frischkorn's project began to take form and she started shooting the portraits of videogamers in summer 2002. But first, she needed models - models who like playing videogames. She networked at a local schools after also getting some cold calls from an admittedly "creepy-sounding ad" she placed in the Merchandiser that began, "Do you like playing videogames?"

Next she set up several couches and televisions connected to videogame consoles in the university's photography studio. She rented a stack of videogames - everything from golf and racing games to "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" - and photographed four to five kids at a time in four-hour sessions. In the end, she had taken about three rolls each of dozens of male models between the ages of 12 and 27. When she put them together, a pattern emerged.

"People think these kids are zoned out or they have a very passive expression on their faces when they're playing," Frischkorn said. "But they aren't passive as if they're just watching television. Their fingers and hands are working really fast and they're making split-second decisions with their hands and minds. They're actually being quite active."

Although 12 of Frischkorn's "Game Boys" portraits showed at the University of Southern California and five others in Philadelphia, Frischkorn said seeing all 20 lining the austere walls of the Lancaster Museum of Art made the difference.

"They've never all been together in a room like that before," Frischkorn said. "It has so much more impact when you see them all together."

She's right. But she wasn't aiming for uniformity when she began the project. Frischkorn originally planned to shoot the boys in their homes with their own surroundings as background. When the logistics made that too difficult, she put together the setup in the photography studio and elected for black backgrounds. She hoped the light from the television screens would be sufficient for the photos, but she eventually had to rig a flash to enhance the glow that lit the boys' faces. Frischkorn pulled the camera in tight and shot, taking special effort not to include their hands or game controllers in the portraits. Printed on glossy paper and mounted in simple, identical black frames, the boys all appear to be the same at first glance inside the museum's spacious gallery.

The result gives each kid a halo effect - an ironic twist considering that at the time the portraits were taken, some were more concerned with how much ammo they had left than how good they looked in Frischkorn's photos. In fact, Frischkorn first thought the portraits were too uniform.

"I was disappointed that their faces weren't changing," Frischkorn said. "I thought they would react more or give more expression than they did. But then I started liking that better. There's a uniformity to the look."

Frischkorn said her opinion of videogames hasn't changed that much because of the project at all - and her own adeptness hasn't improved since she began shooting. She still gets a quick "GAME OVER" when she tries her hand at videogames.

Lancaster New Era / Lancaster, Pennsylvania
February 26, 2004
"Faces of fascination; Photographer focuses on video gamers"

All you see are their faces. Intent, focused faces with an almost angelic glow about them. There is no surroundings that differentiate them, no context to what they are doing. Each and every one is shown against a black background in a vividly crisp print.

Every portrait has something in common, some intangible feeling that each one of these boys is not a part of reality, but floating in some other world, where time and space don't quite exist. But then they are all playing video games. The light doesn't represent an angelic glow so much as the TV screen. The intent faces are not contemplating spiritual matters, but trying to win games like "Smuggler's Run 2: Hostile Territory," and "Nascar 2001."

Photographer Shauna Frischkorn's "Game Boys" exhibit, which opens Friday at the Lancaster Museum of Art and runs through March 28, is a series of portraits of boys ranging in age from 13 to 27.

Frischkorn is an assistant professor of art at Millersville University and she knew a lot of her students liked to play video games. Her inspiration for this exhibit came from the photography work of some of her students.

"I have students who do portrait assignments and I remembered that girls would often shoot their boyfriends. A lot of the time it would be a guy on a couch with a certain expression on his face. The class would say, 'Oh, that's the video game face.' "

Frischkorn began thinking about doing portraits of boys with that "face'' and began thinking about how to frame them.

"I am interested in the act of viewing. I always liked the idea of something like looking at people as they watched a concert or something like that."

She wasn't interested in condemning video games or commenting on their role in society, but she knew the controversy and debate that swirled around the issue would make it more interesting.

"You hear so many bad things about them. Whenever somebody goes on a shooting spree, they say he played a lot of video games," she says. "But I know my students play a lot of video games. I know they are here to stay and they are using the technology (you find in video games) in a lot of different ways."

Originally, Frischkorn was going to take pictures of the boys in their own homes but found it was impossible to shoot them the way she wanted because the TVs were usually right up against a wall.

That problem ended up working in her favor. She brought the boys - some from a high school class she was teaching at Penn Manor, others friends of friends or students at Millersville - to her studio. Once there, she began to see the value of taking away all the background and only shooting faces close up.

"I was eliminating context," Frischkorn explains. "It makes the portraits kind of theatrical. Gives them more meaning."

One of her colleagues pointed out what becomes obvious as you look at the portraits: they resemble Renaissance paintings of adoration, of people in rapture.

"I really like the portraits," says Frischkorn. "What I like most about them is their references to historical art paintings."

Originally, she expected the boys to show more expression, to get excited when something happened in their game, but they didn't.

"You can see 15 shots of the same kid and they'd all be the same," she says. "They rarely made facial expressions. I think the reason is they are such intense players. A lot of people says they're zoned out, but they really aren't. They are rapt, Those are really intense concentration faces."

The personality of the 20 boys and young men in the exhibit - all of whom are experienced game players - were, according to Frischkorn, quite different before they sat down to play, but once they started, a concentration took hold.

"The night before we began the shooting, I said to my husband, what have I done? I'm going to be spending the next three weeks with adolescent boys. What have I done! But they were all very nice. They were great. I didn't have any trouble with anyone."

She kept them happy with pizza and soda, and discovered just how big appetites can be when you're an adolescent boy.

"I don't have any kids myself, so I had no idea," she remembers with a laugh. "Four boys drank an entire case of soda the first day of shooting. That's like six cans for each kid!"

Philadelphia CityPaper / Artsbeat
October 10-16, 2002

This year, City Paper's annual photography contest joined forces with the new Center for the Photographic Image. CPI, created by Todd Vachon and photographer Dominic Episcopo, is a fledgling nonprofit dedicated to "reaching out to the photo community and creating more of a dialogue with photographers," Episcopo says. "We're trying to create a center for photography in Philadelphia, but we're not funded so the only way we could do that is by having a museum without walls." Pairing up with City Paper allowed CPI to host an exhibit with walls, opening at the end of the month.

CPI asked Peter Hay Halpert to judge the contest. A native Philadelphian now living in New York, Halpert is known for his photography collections, curating and criticism. "When you're based here in New York, it's very easy to get sucked into believing that this is the center of the art universe, and that if it's not here it doesn't exist," says Halpert. "But a competition like this reminds me that's not the case at all."

He was somewhat surprised by the Philly aesthetic. "With this competition, although it's contemporary work, most of the work was not particularly political or confrontational, and there was very little conceptual-based art. [There was] some very traditional work, and I'm not saying that in any pejorative sense." Halpert cites a phrase used to describe 17th-century Dutch genre painters -- "they painted what was at their elbow" -- and insists "that wasn't meant in a demeaning way. Their legacy are some of the most amazing still lifes, what was literally on the table at the time, and what we have here is a chronicle of what's going on in Philadelphia and the surrounding region."

Halpert sorted through slightly less than 600 entries, narrowing the pool to 60 winning shots by 37 artists. He singled out six of those artists for special recognition: Siobhan Edmonds, Candace M. Vivian, Benjamin Harris, Samuel Peltz, Richard Kaplinski and Kirsty Gilbert. Prizes include $250 gift certificates toward a continuing education course at UArts and a membership to

Halpert also singles out one artist whose work particularly struck him. "Shauna Frischkorn did a series called Gameboys.' Each depicts an individual young man looking up, and his face is illuminated by the glow of what apparently is a video game. These are kind of stark portraits set against a dark background, but you almost instantly get what they're about and the statement they're making."

The exhibit of all 60 winning photos opens on First Friday, Nov. 1, at Gallery Siano (309 Arch St.). For more information, visit

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