Nate Larson

Photography, Visual / Media

For the past twenty years, I have created site-responsive portraits of communities and examined contemporary American identity by deeply investigating our interactions between digital and physical spaces, probing the influence of cultural history on current events, dissecting societal use of surveillance technologies, repurposing big data for new uses, gleaning insights through oral history storytelling, and recording observations in the contemporary landscape. My work as an artist strives to illuminate the peculiarities of contemporary culture and to create a context for the historical complexities of the times in which we live.

About the Artist

Nate Larson is a contemporary artist and a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. His projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Guardian, The Picture Show from NPR, Slate, CNN, Hyperallergic, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed News, Vice Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, the BBC News Viewfinder, the British Journal of Photography, The Washington Post, and many others. His artwork is included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.

Nate Larson website Nate Larson Studio Nate Larson website Centroid Towns Project Nate Larson website Larson Shindelman Collaborative

Artist's Statement

My current long-term project, Centroid Towns (2014 - present), is an anthology documentary project studying the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America. The chapters in the project completed to date examine the environmental impact of overdevelopment, historical legacies of colonial settlers, the changing face of industrial manufacturing, the evolution of American Christianity, economic pressures created by multinational corporations on small business, and civic engagement in small towns. Selections from this project have been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland, Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Virginia, the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art in Georgia, and the VHS-Stuttgart Photogallery in Germany.   In my previous long-term project, Geolocation (2009 - 2019), I work with collaborator Marni Shindelman to repurpose publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks. The project also investigates the way that social media has upended the flow of information in contemporary life, from social justice activism to disinformation political campaigns. The project has manifested over 17 site-responsive portraits of communities across the United States, and internationally in England, Canada, Russia, and Qatar.  Selections from the larger project have been recently exhibited at the George Eastman Museum in New York, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in South Carolina, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, and numerous others. Our first monograph Geolocation: Tributes to the Data Stream was published in 2016 by Flash Powder Press and our second monograph #Gratitude is currently in the design phase.

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