In a matter of seconds, a grandmother living across the country can witness her grandson blowing out birthday candles to celebrate his 3rd birthday instantaneously. A father on a crucial business trip can still capture his daughter’s nervous facial expression as she plays the first note for her piano recital. A mother buying groceries or a student strolling at a college campus can capture their everyday, ordinary scenes into moments of simple joy and appreciation. This is mobile art — a movement spawning from the advancement of technology while fueling the community to join together, dialogue and “tell a story” after every snapshot.
In Seattle, We Are Juxt, is essentially the platform promoting mobile artists globally to participate, engage, share and appreciate photography through the new innovations of technology in the growing realms of social media. The platform consists of an online magazine, exhibitions and galleries.
Started by four friends last year who were inspired by mobile art — including *BradPuet, Jeff Ocampo, Darvin Vida and Chris Garcia — they too, are artists in other mediums striving to discover the possibilities of this movement.
“We saw the opportunity for a high percentage of casual users turn into creatives,” remembers *BradPuet. “When we first began, we wanted to make sure that these stories were brought to the forefront to encourage others to participate and engage in the creativity available through mobile devices. Juxt wants to make sure that this ability to create is not only shown by known professional, commercial artists, but by the ‘average’ users who are learning how to use these tools for defining their creative selves.”
Juxt also seized the boom in smartphone sales and harnessed the large role they would play in translating the mobile visual world into storytelling.
“There are no boundaries,” says *BradPuet, co-founder of We Are JuxT. “It pushes the art of photography.”
While the four founders are laying grounds in Seattle, many other mobile artist enthusiasts are also contributing to this Juxt(ing) movement. Whether it’s a daily snippet or a three-page blog, Juxt(ers) are sharing a piece of art that speaks to them.
“Worldwide, we have about 50 contributors,” says *BradPuet.
From all walks of life experiencing different sceneries and surroundings each hour of the day, stories are simultaneously burgeoning. Lives are being unraveled. Strangers are connected. And conversations begin.
“It’s the stories that matter,” says BradPuet. “I’m able to take a photo and show it to you. That dialogue is what makes mobile photography.”
When the Apple’s iPhone came with the accessibility of apps, photo-sharing became a communication tool that allowed friends and families to comment or “like” in mere seconds. Suddenly, everyone can stir a conversation, share laughter or shed a tear.
“We are able to share instantly the art you are creating,“ says *BradPuet. “By using a mobile device, we can share our art and get instant feedback.”
Traditional photographers and graphic designers are also venturing into the capabilities of their mobile devices and testing new apps to showcase another perspective of their artistry.
“Professional photographers also switch to it because there aren’t limited. When they do commercial photography, the work is based on what clients want,” says BradPuet, “And graphic designers can also test and share their work and receive instant feedback.”
What started as a convenience to capture on-the-go moments is now inspiring a generation of people to create photography that is usually seen in published forms and galleries.
“Communication moves at the speed of technology, and all of this is done on my phone, while I’m riding the bus home. It’s a truly amazing time,” says Rachel Sawyer, a local mobile photographer and contributing artist for We Are Juxt.
While the evolution of technology has enhanced and transcended how people communicate, being mindful and maintaining the level of human experience is also important for these enthusiasts.
“I do see a danger though — a loss of interpersonal relationships as this mobile communication becomes second natures” says Sawyer. “I embrace technology, but not at the expense of that human experience.”
As the movement of mobile photography is on the rise, the community of We Are Juxt, is also aware of how the older generation fits into this platform.
“I think it’s great when I see a grandparent post a snapshot of their newborn grandchild or their first steps. It means that moments like this won’t be missed,” says Bridgette Shima, also a contributing artist. “It’s an opportunity for the older generation to bond with the younger.”
“We are trying to bring back the idea of storytelling,” says *BradPuet. “While I can interpret a photograph in some way, I also need you to explain it to me. It’s your story, also.”
Exhibiting the works of mobile artists from Seattle, the hope is to find new relationships to build and to sustain a community of Juxt(ing) members with new growth of imaginations and inspirations.
“Mobile photography is still new to most, but I do believe that exposure plays a role in changing this,” says Shima.
Perhaps photo albums may become non-existent one day. But photography has continued to sustain, and mobile artists can propel their work into documenting every journey and travel they dwell. And perhaps one day, what was captured in the past will be celebrated and seen in awe.
Let the storytelling begin.
*BradPuet has requested that his given name be withheld to honor separation between his artistic and community identity.
We are Juxt celebrates their one-year anniversary on Thursday, January 3, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Zeitgeist Coffee in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Details: http://bit.ly/RB1AaU.
Juxt will be celebrating its first year of existence and would love for community members to show up and celebrate with them as artists and as supporters. An outstanding cast of artists exhibiting their mobile photography will be featured. Their photography will be for sale.
We are Juxt’s one-year anniversary will be on Thursday January 3, 2013 6-8PM at Zeitgeist Coffee, 171 S. Jackson St. Seattle WA (Pioneer Square