Offline & Infamous is the second solo gallery exhibition by Jonathan Calm. Using the documentary style of his earlier video works, which explore the lives of archetypal homeless and drug-addicted people, Calm took his video camera and a stack of scratch cards into the streets. There he asked strangers to let him film their hands scratching the cards, and in return, he or she could keep all of the money won.
One video consists of a grid of hands scratching different cards as the viewer hears snippets of the participants’ thoughts and comments. A second video evokes a sense of claustrophobia by combining hands scratching cards with images from hallways, stairways and elevators in housing projects. Calm’s “Scratching Chance” photographs are digitally combined images of used scratch cards with the shedding bark of Sycamore trees.
Jonathan Calm was the 2003 recipient of the MTA “Poetry in Motion” award. Calm’s videos have been screened in the Rotterdam Film Festival and The Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum of Harlem, Chelsea Art Museum, The Cheekwood Museum (Nashville, TN) and The Smithsonian Institute. They aired on Reel New York on the New York Public Broadcasting System in 2002 and 2004. In September 2005, Jonathan Calm’s video “Delta” will be included in the We Are the World exhibition at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, Spain.