Off World is realized in situ as a 24-hour interactive public installation by Andrew Mallis as part of the 2009 Contact Toronto Photography Festival. It features photographs and video by filmmaker Mateo Guez .
Mobile telephony redefines the camera as an extension of the body, charging every moment with the potential for photography.
In addition to raising questions around media ownership, Off World subverts the gallery model, both physically and conceptually. The name of the gallery displaying the work, Camera, is also the german word for room. Yet, the Camera contains no photographs. It is a public-facing view finder. Video here acts less as documentary and more as a stand-in for direct experience. If they engage, the viewer leaves with the photography, and the gallery is in the viewer’s pocket.
To quote Bruce Nauman: “release the gas and the container is contained.”
Residing alongside personal photos in the visitor’s handset, these images are viewed with hindsight and a familiarity otherwise unattainable on a gallery wall. The gallery is thus conceived of as immaterial and the image, though multiple, is personal; both exist in the intimate yet social spaces now extended by mobile media.
The exhibition ran all of May 2009 at CAMERA, an extension of the Stephen Bulger Gallery, located at 1028 Queen Street West, in Toronto, Canada.