NATIVES: ambrotypes from the digital frontier (2010)

In the past, the ambrotypist would travel across the frontier in their wagons and photograph those living on the fringes of civilization. Nearly 160 years later, I travel across the new frontier of online communities photographing those paving the way. While the inhabitants of these non-physical communities and games do not go there physically, they are often able to manipulate and control their online incarnation: creating an abject presence of themselves. This project adds both tangibility and history to the lives of these inhabitants who, by design, do not know or have either. Ambrotype images are a tangible manifestation of the intangible persona while simultaneously showing the death of the moment.

born in 1966 in Yankton, South Dakota (USA), lives in Troy, Michigan (USA)

Susan E. Evans is a conceptual artist teaching photography and new media at Oakland University, Michigan, USA. Her current research interests and artistic projects revolve around identity, context, structure, information processing, and categorization. Susan E. Evans received her B.F.A. in both photography and holography from Goddard College, and her M.F.A. in photography from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA. She was also awarded with several grants and research fellowships, which enhanced her development as an artist.
Evans’ is the recipient of the Arteles Artist Residency 2011 Award of Haukijärvi, Finland. She has participated in over 150 group and solo shows and has work in collections worldwide, including the Musée de l’Elysée, Laussanne; George Eastman House, Rochester and the Museum of Fine Art Houston.