The work of Erek Nass employs continuing experimentation and exploration of filtering perception; often tricking all five of the senses with finely constructed technologically savvy pieces. His artistic output, which spans from large whole-room installations to multiple small pieces, attracts you with its unique design and clean presentation – and the patient viewer is pleasantly rewarded with an individual and personal art experience.

In a recent group show at Lumos Gallery in Columbus Ohio, Nass was able to successfully demonstrate his drive to confuse and intrigue the senses. At the center of the works was a small cone, which emitted an array of pleasant odors and agreeing sounds when the viewer ventured to bring their face close enough to the piece, though they would disappear if the viewer pulled away. This lovely sensory illusion, which utilized motion sensors and a parametric speaker mounted out of direct sight, truly grasps at what Nass’s explorations are all about: a search for personal accumulation of perspective on the world. Nass approaches these works with the idea that many various filters influence the perceptual world. From man-made filters such as video screens and camera lenses to naturally occurring ones that range from a foggy skyline to our own memory, Nass’s experiments sequester and intensify these filters to create postponed ticks in time, so that they can be contemplated on a deeper level by willing viewers. The main piece in the recent Lumos show is a perfect exercise in patience, and the reward a vigilant viewer receives. Comprised of an amalgam of a projector pointing straight down, a slanted mirror, a small tray of water and a series of hoses that pumped out water vapor, the installation projected an ever-moving, ever-changing image upon a hanging backdrop. The image was often disrupted and abstracted by the simple airflow of the gallery, creating a captivating exercise in patience to wait and see what was being projected when the vapor and loosely hanging backdrop calmed down for that split second.


This work brings to mind the work of Gary Hill, and his famed Tall Ships installation piece, which featured moving and disappearing figures that reacted to the presence of the spectator – ‘running away’ when the approaching onlooker got to close – triggering a range of unconscious emotive reactions activated by the interaction with something alien and unfamiliar. Nass is getting to that place within his own work, drawing in the spectator with an unfamiliar yet very inviting piece of artwork – and then altering their expected perception of what an experience viewing art can be.

The students have been continuing to learn printing techniques and how to deal with the proper settings for printing images via Photoshop.  They have learned to print contact sheets, test prints and full-blown enlargements, which will be due on Monday along with the beginning of our first critiques of their ‘Time’ project.  I am excited to see what the students come up with to tackle such a broad subject matter, I’m sure a room of creative types, photo majors or not, will come up with very exciting ways to portray the passage and representation of time.  Shannon went to Chicago for the 2014 CAA conference, so I got left in charge of overseeing the midterm test and making sure they had the grasp of printing down.  There were some bumps in the road with printing, mainly with figuring out proper printer and paper profiles, but all is well.  Got to grade the midterm tests which was a fun exercise in being a real-life teacher, always good practice using that doomed red pen!  This week we have been creating a syllabus for our Teaching Methods class based on a class we would want to teach as teachers ourselves.  I’ve been in the process of creating a black & white film-based introductory photography class, since I still feel the best way to learn the medium is starting with film (maybe because it is how I was taught, but it just feels right).  More to come, really loving this!

I am interested in last words – what would you want your last words to be?  Have you ever experienced the last words of a dying loved one, or the last words of someone who has otherwise left your life?  If so, how have those words impacted your own decision regarding your legacy?

I will be spending the next few months interviewing people about this subject, taking their photograph, and having them write a small statement in their own handwriting and words – all of which will be used to create the final compositions that I will exhibit.

Want to take part in this project?

I have created this page as an information source and contact site for the project, if you are interested in participation, or want further information, please take the following steps:

– Contact me via email at, with the subject ‘Last Words Project’


– Check out the Facebook page: The Last Words Project

I will be updating this category from time to time with new information, deadlines and dates of travel, and any pertinent information to the project as a whole.  Thanks!

Week three is in the books, and this past week found us actually looking at images!  The students submitted their first assignment images dealing with motion blur and depth of field, which we loaded into Bridge and examined/critiqued as a class.  This was very helpful to me because I am a student of Lightroom, so Bridge is very new to me – and I got to learn as we went along with the students.  Shannon was sick for our Wednesday class, so I got to lead the class by myself.  It was a very rewarding experience.  I know there were things I could have done better, but overall I feel like I did pretty well on short notice.  We used bridge again to look over the students bracketing assignment, discussed their first creative project for the class – which is simply a project based on ‘time’, let the students view La Jetée – the awesome French short film about time travel that is comprised entirely of still images and a narrator, and finally taught them how to create a digital contact sheet in Bridge for showing Shannon their work next week!  Very exciting feeling to lead the class, I think I managed to hold their attention well, and after looking back on how the class went feel that I may have moved a bit fast through some steps, but mistakes are often the best learning tools!  More to come, very excited!

2 weeks in, loving this.  It’s great to be able to just sit back and observe how a very well-prepared teacher goes through the steps of teaching the finer details of photography.  This week we’ve been going over how to use digital cameras better, test shooting (aperture, motion blur, shutter speeds and f-stops oh my!), proper filing and how to use Adobe Bridge for storing images.  Since I’m MUCH more used to using Lightroom, this week has been a bit of a learning experiment for me as well, getting the gist of the program so that I can help the students with it as well as starting to use it myself to see how it compares to Lightroom.  This coming week we will be looking at some of the first images from assignment one: depth-of-field and motion blur, should be interesting.

Started my student teaching internship last week!  Part of our Teaching Methods class is taking part in a class of our choice (usually within our field of interest) as a student intern, teaching assistant, etc.  I am sitting in on a beginning photography class with the wonderful Shannon Benine.  So far my experience has been just helping out in small ways – passing out papers, small tasks for Shannon, aiding students in getting their DSLRs set on the proper settings for the class, etc. – but it has already been an awarding experience.  It is a photo 1 class essentially, but it is always good to brush up on the basics (since I haven’t taken a real photo class in about a year), and it really helps to just be able to observe the professor, to view what works and what doesn’t, observe better ways to explain different methods, and to start to get a feel for how I would teach the same class.  Shannon is a great teacher to work with, she has a demanding personality that I think really engages the students (out of respect as well as intimidation I am sure), and she is great at hammering away the vital information needed in the basics of photography.  Looking forward to first critiques, my own presentations to the class, and learning more about teaching!

Photo on 10-31-13 at 6.54 PM

Hand injuries suck.  Especially on dominant hands.  Especially when you need that hand for photo snapping.  But life goes on and I must work around this badly broken pinky.  The figural pieces that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks are coming out quite well, been able to find new places and explore new spaces in the dead of night with my kind friend/tour guide Angie, and the results are exciting.  Holding off on any image uploads for now, since I have a feeling these photos may be very close to my final product, and I’m all about the big reveal!

In better news, I will be undertaking an artist residency in Ballyvaughan, Ireland next summer!  The Burren College of Art is where I will be, living and photographing the rural areas of Ireland for one month, and I am beyond excited to return to the emerald isle – this time for an intense and immersive art experience, I feel truly blessed.

Thats it for now, more updates coming soon from Nevin the one-handed artist-guy!

Been delving into research based on my ideas of spatial emptiness and the psychological landscape, and thanks to references from two fellow CCAD MFAers (props to Jovanni Luna and Jason Schwab), I’ve been introduced to a few really awesome artists, who challenge the ideas of traditional image-making, and have really helped me think and process my own work!  Hooray!  For a look at some innovative folks, check out:

Rose DeSiano

Matthew Daub

Leslie Hewitt

Also, after some discussion and re-tweaking, I have remade a previous GIF to more emphasize an integration into my own personal work.  I think the new version helps to illuminate my idea of familiarity and connectivity of the ’empty street’, along with an implied aspect of traveling ‘into’ the images themselves thanks to the motion of the GIF.