"DC Lo-Fi" was a show by DC-based photographer Michael K. Wilkinson that sought to capitalize on two points of familiarity to many city residents: urban vignettes focused on the disappearing signs of an ever-aging yet ever-changing city, and the ubiquitous square format of Instagram with its instantly recognizable filters. The photographer, a Washington DC resident for over 20 years, selected a range of scenes for the show, some of which would be recognized by astute observers of the city, and others which would just resonate with a certain locationless urban sensibility. Part of the poignancy of the project for Wilkinson was the fact that, as a professional photographer, long since done with film and no longer using a digital SLR to express himself artistically, he could pull an iPhone out of his pocket, snap things he saw as he was walking around the city, then could throw a couple images into Instagram, which would cross-post to flickr, Tumblr and Facebook. Within seconds, the feedback would start to roll in, one 'ding' at a time. "In the age of the mobile device, you accomplish in a matter of minutes what it used to take weeks or even months to do when we shot on film, printed in darkrooms and hustled for gallery shows, he says."
Printed on ultra-high gloss metal surfaces ranging in size from 8x8 to 30x30, the images in the show bridge the gap gorgeously between the ephemeral "social-digital" format and the permanence of a piece of art on the walls. Both the subject matter and the medium will strike viewers with a particularly strong currency and resonance, hitting nerves on both a new/hi-gloss-modern-mobile-culture level and a gritty, fast-disappearing urban-pioneer level.
The show was presented at the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE, in Washington DC, in February and March 2014.