Artist Profile

Jonathan Ellis


Primary Medium

Photography

Address

37 Greenpoint Ave
SVA Studios
Brooklyn, 11222

Artist Statement

Photography for me has always been about freedom; at times mental, emotional or even physical; it is also an effective way to examine systems, to record results of decisions, developments, circumstance and history. In the context of the United States, it is important to grasp the influence that “united” might have on one’s life as a member of this society bound together by legal, historical and political systems. I make images from the sky with a drone of locations that are categorized by various demographics or political characteristics (e.g. percentage of population above or below poverty line) in order to “see” where political power comes from. The same power that, as a resident of Washington, D.C., denies me a voting representative in Congress. The—almost—neutral machine vision of the drone is a literal and figurative counterpoint to the limitations of what I can record or the restrictions I may feel only seeing from the ground. This tool is used as a temporary path to freedom from bindings of society and a way to visualize what some sort of political collective may look like from above. The top down “god’s eye” view is reminiscent of viewing something under a microscope where one examines and looks closely to truly “see”. I engage in surveillance of myself and those around me, in order to bear witness to the unraveling, entrenched systems of an evolving America. The images, like many of our governing systems become abstract from a distance and one has to look more closely to gain understanding of who and what is being represented.

Links

Instagram: @fotojae