The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) in Chicago is the only museum in the Midwest dedicated exclusively to photography. Its collection of more than 10,000 photographs has long been impressive but also overwhelming and hard to get around in. Not anymore. Now anyone can search the collection online: by artist’s name, title of work, popular tags, recent acquisitions, and favorite collections like the Changing Chicago Project – one of the largest documentary photography projects ever. (In 1987 the city commissioned 33 local photographers to document life throughout Chicago’s diverse urban and suburban neighborhoods).
To help spread the word about the easy-to-access, searchable collection, a series of digital exhibitions have been curated from the massive collection and will appear in the MoCP’s cornerstone windows on Michigan Avenue beginning in September. And local artist Jan Tichy will install a light projection piece (inside) that condenses all 10,000+ images into a 10-minute long montage. That’s approximately 16 images per second – the ideal speed to provoke “persistence of vision” – the phenomenon by which an afterimage persists for one twenty-fifth of a second on the eye.