I am a visual artist working to combine the mediums of fine art photography, digital media, and social media artwork in my studio practice. I have an ongoing interest in exploring how digital technology is impacting society and individuals. This is a theme that I will be expanding upon to focus on climate change in social media in my project, Crowdsourced Landscapes: Using Social Media Art to Highlight Climate Change. In this project, I endeavor to expand the traditional definitions and subject matter that are prevalent in fine art photography and will be creating a series of experimental landscapes that utilize the LED devices. Updates on social media will be used to as the digital text that will be inserted into the landscape through photography. This project will be started, with multiple international locations included, during my 2014-15 sabbatical from Penn State University.
This project integrates both the creation of new photographs as well as workshops that I will lead on building LED light devices and how to use them for photographic light painting and will be open to the community. The workshop participants will be given the opportunity to make their own light-painted landscapes, which will be shared on the project’s website in order to grow the audience and garner additional project participants and supporters.
The larger focus of the project will be on using social media to elicit statements of climate change as it may be affecting ordinary individuals’ personally meaningful landscapes. Posts will be placed on the major social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, with a project hashtag for easy identification. The responses from individuals will be used in the creation of long-exposure, light painted, landscape photographs and a series of video pieces that will make up the primary artwork created for the project.
Lori Hepner is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in conceptually based photography and photographic installations. Her most recent body of work, Status Symbols, is a series of portraits that are studies of identity in the digital age of social media through. The portraits focus on visualizing text-based tweets into abstracted visual portraits by using the on/off signature of the computer’s native language, binary code. She is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, earning an MFA in Digital Media in 2005 and received her BFA in Fine Art Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003.
Lori’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the the 14th International Lishui Photography Festival in Lishui, China, Houston Center for Photography, Duke University, the SRO Photo Gallery at Texas Tech University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum’s @1stsfans project. Lori’s work has been featured in SPE’s Exposure Magazine, the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s PQ#99 magazine, Time Magazine’s Lightbox blog, and in Fall 2012 a 7-page spread with article in the UK-based Next Level Magazine: Pittsburgh Edition. Lori currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA where she is Associate Professor of Integrative Arts at the Greater Allegheny campus of Penn State University.