Dyer Street Portraiture to Pixelscapes

Tom R. Chambers was invited by the Fine Arts Department, New Media, Beijing Film Academy (BFA) (Beijing, China) (April 8, 2005) to give a retrospective lecture, "Dyer Street Portraiture to Pixelscapes", to students and faculty. This twenty-five year retrospective took a look at Chambers' evolution from conventional documentary photography to his current work with digital and new media art (Photos by Cho Eun-mi.).

Wang Honghai, Dean of Fine Arts (left) and Liu Xuguang, New Media Professor (right) listen to the lecture along with BFA students.

Chambers lecturing from his laptop computer with Xu Dawei, New Media Tutor as his translator. Xu Dawei was responsible for bringing Chambers to the BFA.

Chambers seen between Xu Dawei (left) and Liu Xuguang (right) receiving a fine arts publication.

Chambers seen in the BFA student union lounge with Xu Dawei and some of his new media students.

News Release: "Dyer Street Portraiture to Pixelscapes"

Lecture by Tom R. Chambers at the Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China (April 8, 2005):

Tom R. Chambers, photographer and artist, will give a three-hour lecture at the academy about his 25-year journey from conventional, documentary photography to digital and new media art focusing on his current involvement with Pixelscapes. He will also talk about Focus Gallery, his online gallery for other artists who are working with digital generation and manipulation as an art form, and mention the International Digital Art Awards (IDAA), an Australian-based arts organization for which he serves as an executive committee member, juror and new media director. He is also an advisor for the Academy of Electronic Arts, New Delhi, India.

Chambers has exhibited his photography and art, worldwide. His mixed media and interactive work, "Mother's 45s" (a tribute to his mother and all mothers of the world), was selected through national competition (U.S.A.) for exhibition as a part of the Parents show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. (1992).

American Photo magazine listed one of his documentary portraiture projects, "Dyer Street Portraiture" in its Notable Exhibitions section, March, 1986 issue. His documentary portraiture project, "Descendants 350", received a Governor's Proclamation (1986), and it was accepted by the Secretary of State as a part of the Rhode Island State Archives (U.S.A.) (1991). And his documentary project, "Hot City", received a Mayor's Proclamation (Providence, Rhode Island) (1989), and was accepted as part of the City (Providence) Archives.

His documentary portraiture project, "Southwest of Rusape: The Mucharambeyi Connection", was officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, and it was accepted as part of the United States Information Services (USIS) Archives, Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa (1995); and his documentary portraiture project, "People to People", was accepted as part of the Kumho Art Foundation Archives, Gwangju, South Korea (1997).

Chambers also completed a three-year tour as an art conservator and curator for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and as the initiator/instructor of "The McEwen Photographic Studio" for the National Gallery's Art School (1993-1995). He was invited by the gallery to exhibit his photo art project, "Variations on the Dan Mask", officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1994).

Over the past seven years, Chambers has been working with digital art and new media. Many of his "Pixelscapes" have been shown in the U.S.A., Australia, England, Russia, Philippines and Brazil. A solo show of his "Pixelscapes: Next Generation" was mounted at the LeVall Art Gallery in Novosibirsk, Russia (2002). And this same work was also shown at InterGraphic (Bishkek International Exhibition of Graphic art), State Museum of Fine arts, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Russia (2004), "International Festival of Digital Imaging & Animation", Novosibirsk, Russia (2003), "Third Novosibirsk International Contemporary Graphic Biennial 2003", State Picture Gallery, Novosibirsk, Russia (2003), Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (as a part of "Art Is Everywhere", Boston Cyberarts Festival) (2003), "Digital Content Consortium (DCC) Conference", University of North Carolina-Pembroke, U.S.A. (2003), Museum of Contemporary Art, Solovki (Solovetskie Ostrova/Solovetskie Islands, White Sea), Russia, (Summer, 2002), "International Exhibition of Computer Generated Prints", Novosibirsk, Russia (curated by Sue Gollifer, University of Brighton and the London Institute, UK and by Andrey Martynov, LeVall Art Gallery, Novosibirsk, Russia) (2002). His "Pixelscapes: Third Generation" were shown as part of the "2003 IDAA" at VCA Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank Victoria, Australia, December (2003), and his "Pixelscapes: Fourth Generation" were shown as part of the "2004 IDAA" at The Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, Inveresk, Australia (2004), QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia (2004) and VCA Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank Victoria, Australia (2004).

He has also shown his "Shift Series" (a derivative of "Pixelscapes") as part of "Digital Showcase 15", Austin Museum of Digital Art, Austin, Texas, U.S.A. (2002) and "Scan Series" (a derivative of "Pixelscapes") as part of "Glass Membrane: Scanner to Screen", Digital Studio, UCR/California Museum of Photography, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.(2002). Other new media work - "Streak 16", "Red Lines" and "Dot to Dot" - have been show as part of the "Information Visualization Symposium (IV2003/IV2004)", Dart Gallery, University of London, London, England (2003/2004).

Chambers is on the Faculty for Photo-Seminars.com. His Documentary portraiture lesson is featured at this online site and others. He organized and performed curatorial duties for two hyperlinked photo exhibitions for the PhotoForum membership under the auspices of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT, New York, U.S.A.) (1997).

Reviews re: Chambers' Pixelscapes:

JD Jarvis, Artist and Art Critic:

"The genre of Minimalism makes a good verbal foundation for the work Chambers is exploring. This new generation of work is challenging even those distinctions. In terms of Minimalism these works seem almost elaborate, with strong patterns emerging from the basic structure that is the single pixel. Taken to the next extreme would be a sculptural arrangement of individual squares (pixels) of a single color. As if pixels have liberated themselves, through magnification, from any other context and are now present as individual entities in non-virtual space. The potential for a huge installation referenced as a unit (pattern) from a great distance or seen as individual bits up close has implications for an individual's life within a global community, as well as, commenting on digital communication/art."

Don Archer, Artist and Director, Museum of Computer Art (MOCA):

"Tom R. Chambers' 'Pixelscapes' are studies in digital art that resort exclusively to the pixel itself for visual interest. These are abstract arrangements of pixels in color and may be referenced as exercises in computer Minimalism. With this work and other explorations of computer abstraction, the artist has come a long way from his origins twenty-five years ago as a documentary photographer. His art and art commentary have been widely published on a number of distinguished websites, and his prints shown in numerous exhibitions around the world."


Wang Honghai, Dean, Fine Art Department, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China

Xu Dawei, New Media Tutor, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China

Tom R. Chambers, Photographer/Artist