Fronts Raw

Fronts Raw

Nicholas Fraser Plus

I began with the quixotic goal to collect a complete video­-based lexicon from the signage on urban storefronts. Long fascinated with the variety and inventiveness of urban signage and looking for ways to expand my text based installation work into video,…


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I began with the quixotic goal to collect a complete video­-based lexicon from the signage on urban storefronts. Long fascinated with the variety and inventiveness of urban signage and looking for ways to expand my text based installation work into video, I began filming storefronts in 2010. My initial plans were to make assemblage videos with dozens of clips forming scrolling, live-­action texts.

But when 'Fronts' is considered in its raw state, it functions as a manifold portrait of contemporary urban life in public spaces. Each video captures the day-­to-­day activities of the street­-scape, documenting a wide ranging portrait of 21st century culture.

I'm converting 'Fronts' into a public resource, YouTube meets StreetView, encouraging spectators to become contributors and creators. Free memberships will allow participants to add video of their own sites and storefronts and access all videos for any purpose. My video assemblages will 'seed' a gallery of participant projects utilizing the resource. Software allowing anyone to enter text and auto­-generate scrolling videos is planned. Crowd-­sourcing the collection of videos serves both functions of the project, ensuring both a diverse portrait of our culture and as complete a lexicon as humanly possibly.

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