The Millennial generation catches a lot of flack. We’ve been called lazy, self-absorbed, and (in many cases) far worse. The fact is, though, this criticism has followed most generations in recent history… We’re just next in line.
What does differentiate us is that we are coming into our own having recently experienced a nearly across-the-board collapse of institutional reliability: the highest level of student loan debt in American history, accrued in an economy that doesn’t have room for intelligent young graduates, with a government that is unable or unwilling to make even moderate progress on the nation’s most pressing issues.
What differentiates us is that in the face of this overwhelming ineptitude from on high, we are still creating change from the ground up. PresenTense Chicago, partnered with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Chicago, provides these young minds with the resources they need to formulate and execute meaningful change.
I was lucky enough to be asked by the PresenTense team to create this video promoting Launch Night, an event at which this year’s eight fellows will present their solutions to some of the biggest social problems of our day.
Launch Night will be held at the Merchandise Mart on June 12, 2013, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. For more information, visit PresenTense Chicago’s website.
Come the end of winter, it’s easy to get caught in a rut. Especially in Chicago, by the end of February it’s often hard for me to find the motivation to do, well… pretty much anything outside of the house. Today, though, I had to run an errand that brought me downtown to the City Clerk’s office. While at first I was legitimately dreading the public transit trek to deal with Chicago bureaucracy, I was given some very apt advice to take my camera with me—after months of inactivity, it was sitting on my desk collecting dust.
As I got going, I was reminded of high school photography field trips, shooting on black and white 35mm film. With the last vestiges of a winter storm still clinging to the earth, I thought the snow would make for some spectacular high-contrast shots that would look fantastic processed in black and white—just like the old days.
Many of these images are intentionally a bit voyeuristic, focusing on how people interact with the city, while others are simply architectural shots or just shapes that caught my eye. Regardless, I hope you enjoy.
Artistic collaboration brings out the best from all those involved. That was the case, at least, while working on a website for interior designer Becky Brofman. After more than three decades of professional experience, she was looking not only for an online presence, but also a portfolio with a creative flair.
“Collaboration is my mantra,” her site now quotes. With her motto (and artistic style) in mind, I crafted something that I felt would accurately represent her aesthetic sense: clean, functional, and modern.
I whipped up some minor architecturally-inspired graphical elements for the header and footer, but the overall design is geared to bring her content front-and-center; leaving my overall footprint as small as possible. The site’s galleries are truly the main attraction. They adapt responsively to fit any screen, and support touch events on mobile devices, allowing the user to swipe through images of Becky’s work.
The site looks gorgeous and works great on any device. When viewing the site on a smaller screen, the sidebar disappears and is replaced by an expandable drop-down menu.
Best of all, though, it’s designed so the non-tech-savvy among us can create and edit content easily. While I had the privilege of photographing some of Becky’s work (much of which is featured on the site), after I handed her the keys, she was able to upload her own photos and create new galleries completely independently!
Great design is found at the intersection of form and function. Becky knows this and brings it to her work; I try to do the same. If you’re in the Chicago area and in need of an interior artistic touch, check out Becky’s work at beyerbrofmandesign.com.
Telling the stories of youth, lust, desperation and jubilation, Ben Burns brings Springsteen-style Americana to the Midwest. Adding a distinctly regional sensibility steeped in Wisconsin folk roots, Burns isn’t ashamed to pour his heart out on the floor.
I met Ben in his Chicago apartment to shoot this video, “Got Lost.”
Over the past decade or so, Pitchfork Media has earned its place among (many would argue atop) the most respected voices in music reviews and news. Following its online successes, Pitchfork decided in 2005 to host a Music festival in Chicago’s Union Park, which has since become a yearly mecca for up-and-coming artists and music lovers alike.
These photos are from the first two days of this year’s festival, shot for the Chicago Journal.
Artists featured below (in order): Willis Earl Beal, Sleigh Bells, A$AP Rocky, Japandroids, The Dirty Projectors, Feist, Hot Chip, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
I find that a project is most rewarding when I can work from all angles. This recent undertaking called not just for responsive web design (optimized for both desktop and mobile devices), but also for headshot photography and print design.
After formulating and implementing a cross-media design aesthetic, it’s hard not to feel a heavy sense of investment in what you’ve created. Swing by meyersonlaw.net to see the digital side of things… hire Pam and maybe you’ll get to see some letterhead.
As soon as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama announced their plans to host the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago, concurrent plans for massive protests emerged almost immediately. Despite the last-minute decision to move the G8 summit to Camp David, thousands of protesters from around the nation converged on Chicago to exercise their rights.
While NATO serves as the military muscle for some of the world’s wealthiest countries, protesters were not only airing their concerns over military issues. Instead, they used the national stage to spotlight an incredibly vast array of progressive issues—from nuclear nonproliferation to health care to climate change. Members of the Occupy movement showed up in droves, along with union leaders, and members of the online hacker group Anonymous.
Agreeing on a single issue for advocacy seemed not to be a priority. In fact, different factions of protesters seemed to be somewhat wary of others—members of the nurses’ union, for example, cautiously eyeing masked Occupy or Anonymous members.
Ultimately, though, these protesters appeared to be most concerned with pushing a general progressive agenda and making their voices heard. These photos are from Friday, May 18, at the National Nurses United protests in Daley Plaza, which featured a performance by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.
This past Saturday was the Chicago Improv Festival’s first annual Gala & Awards Show. Just before the likes of Dan Patterson (creator of “Whose Line is it Anyway?”) and Key & Peele (Comedy Central’s latest stars) took the stage, my latest work was on display:
I’ve been doing a bit of production work lately for a Chicago judicial candidate (who also happens to be my dear mother). Family ties aside, she’s incredibly intelligent, highly qualified, and you can learn more about her on her Facebook page, Twitter feed, or campaign website.
As Director of Digital Strategy for the campaign, I’ve been working on social media strategy as well as the nitty-gritty of media production. These video testimonials come from some of Pam’s supporters in the 11th subcircuit.
This winter, with temperatures barely dipping below freezing and not one opportunity to call “dibs” on a parking spot, the distinctions between the seasons might be tough for us Chicagoans to recognize.
For music fans across the country, though, there’s one unmistakable sign that spring is in the air: the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas.
Beginning in 1987 and growing exponentially in recent years, SXSW has become a Mecca for indie rockers, aspiring filmmakers, tech enthusiasts and moustached philanthropists.
In honor of Chicago’s contributions to the 10-day extravaganza, this Saturday, March 10 The Hideout will host its sixth annual sendoff party for local bands headed to the Lone Star State. In an attempt to recreate the all-day whirlwind experience of an Austin bar, the first band takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. and 10 more acts will perform before midnight. At $10 a ticket, that’s less than $1 a band.
The whole idea, as The Hideout’s president and co-owner Tim Tuten explained, is to help smaller Chicago artists finance the journey south.
“All these unsigned bands have no money to begin with, so it actually costs them money to go down,” Tuten said.
With Chicago gas prices topping $4.30 a gallon and a 30-rack of PBR pushing $15, a cross-country road trip can get awful pricey for a starving artist. Cash from the show should help to cover at least the beer money.