Vernacular Visions is a monthly slideshow series of found 35mm photo slides presented by photographer Justin Rhody in the Bay Area, California. Since the spring of 2013, Rhody has gathered found slides by the thousands from various flea markets and junk stores and edited them into a cohesive sequence for each monthly performance. The projected visuals are accompanied by an audio mix of related (and unrelated) sounds & musics in the form of a prepared cassette.
Every other month, half of the night’s program is dedicated to presenting the work of a local photographer or filmmaker. This ongoing series is an exploration and celebration of the photographic medium and its subjects, spoken and coded in the visual dialect of the amateur practitioner. Free to attend and open to the public, the show is presented in a relaxed tone that offers the opportunity for meditative contemplation, as well as casual and comfortable social interaction.
The first VV screenings originally occured by taking advantage of an unguarded electrical outlet on Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. After almost a year of hosting screenings at this location, the authorities eventually caught wind and the project became a roving operation that bounces from space to space each month. In the summer of 2015, Rhody took a “greatest hits” collection of found slides from the VV archive on the road and presented screenings in 12 different cities across the USA. The Center for New Music in San Francisco invited Rhody to conduct a three month residency (Sept-Nov 2015) in which a monthly slideshow is accompanied by a live soundtrack created by groupings of improv musicians.