I spy… a disposable camera project is a mail art program created by UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness.

In 2022, 30 artists were each sent a disposable camera and a unique text prompt written by Jane Shi. They were instructed to photograph whatever they want, as long as one photograph responds to the prompt. UNIT/PITT chose nine unedited photos from each roll to showcase online and in a print photo catalogue designed by Ricky Castanedo-Laredo, which will be published in the winter.

Much like its car game namesake, I spy… was devised as an escape from confinement, in response to restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I spy… is as much a mission to capture a specific photograph, as to pass the time. With that in mind, the images in this exhibition document a series of discreet performances with backdrops ranging from beaches to home gardens. I spy…2022 is the third and most ambitious iteration of the project to-date.

I spy…2022

The third edition of I spy… features photos taken by Ada Dragomir, Alger Ji-Liang, Ana M Tonso Alonso, Angie Rico, Atheana Picha, Celina de Leon, Chloe Hardmon, Dani Neira, DANI YOUR DARLING, Dax Heaven, Hannah Dubois, Jake Kimble, Julia Chang, Kaila Bhullar, Kara Ditte Hansen, Karl Hipol, kathy feng, Louie Villanueva, M.V. Williams, Marv Houngbo, Melanie Evelyn, Pari, Samantha Walters, Sara Wylie, Sarah Madgin, Sarah Wong, Snack Witch aka Joni Cheung, Soloman Chiniquay, Timothy Fernandes, and Zuleyma Prado between August-October 2022. The text prompts were written by poet, editor and writer Jane Shi. In addition to the online exhibition, the final photographs will be featured in a photo catalogue designed by Ricky Castanedo-Laredo.

Thank you to Fenrir Cerebellion for writing the image descriptions this year, and thank you to Madison Lemke of Dev Drop for developing and scanning the film for I spy…2021-2022.

I spy…2021

The second edition of I spy… features photos taken by andi icaza-largaespada, Brandon Leung, Daniela Rodriguez Chevalier, Jae Lew, Meesh QX, and Sidi Chen between August-September 2021. Selected through an open call for submissions, this year’s prompts were composed by Ada Dragomir, Timothy Fernandes, Daniesh Mann, and Yasmine Whaley-Kalaora.

In 2021, UNIT/PITT also added something new to I spy… Inspired by the enthusiastic response to our call for crowd-sourced prompts, we hosted a community version of I spy… on Instagram throughout September. In anticipation of the photographs from our participating artists, we invited the community to show us the world through their lens for a month.

I spy…2020

The photographs in the inaugural I spy… were taken between May-June 2020 by Gloria Wong, Jackie Dives, Jaz Whitford, Katayoon Yousefbigloo, Mona Fani, Phoebe Huang, Rachel Lau, Rebecca Wang, Ryley O’Byrne, and Svava Tergesen. These finalists were chosen through an open call for emerging and student artists by Sunny Nestler, Molly Randhawa and Eleanor Wearing. The prompts were composed by Samantha Nock.

Thank you to photographer Soloman Chiniquay for developing and scanning the film, and thank you to Mitch Lum for preparing this site for I spy…2020.

UNIT/PITT operates on unceded land belonging to the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, also known as Vancouver, Canada.

We are grateful to receive funding from Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, Audain Foundation, and our generous members and donors.

For more information, visit unitpitt.ca