Meet a Lab Assistant: Lauren Dacy

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Tell us about yourself, how long you have worked as a lab assistant at Latitude?

I grew up in Texas, moved to Chicago for college, and stuck around afterward. I am a photographer and designer, and I’m on a constant search for the perfect breakfast taco. I’ve been a Lab Assistant at LATITUDE since January 2017.

What ideas, materials or people sit at the center of the work you do?

My work engages with the interaction of labor and production, analog and digital formats, and the various roles I interact with and take on in a capitalist framework. The materials I use to make photographs are usually found disposable packaging materials. In my recent work, I've focused on the creation of an artificial sense of depth and scale by making new constructions out of those found materials and photographing them in spaces where I work. I’m always thinking about my own labor and consumption, the materials that take part in that, and how my own roles as a worker, maker, and consumer reinforce each other.

Tell us about your art making process.How do you make art? What environment(s) do you make art within? Describe your perfect art making environment. 

We live under a structure that requires labor to be exploitative, so being able to find ways to exploit and investigate the sites and materials of that labor in return has become a main focus of my practice. Most environments I use as “studio spaces” are spaces I gain after-hours access to in exchange for my labor: from a high-rise office building downtown, to basements, storefronts, hidden scanner rooms… I’ve tried to find ways for the work I need to do to support myself financially to also create space for my artistic practice.

List five things that changed the way you look at/ make images?

  1. "The Notion of Family" by LaToya Ruby Frazier taught me how many things a photobook can do and be.
  2. "What do Pictures Want?" By WJT Mitchell expanded my ideas about image-making and the materials that can be involved in that process.
  3. Laura Letinsky’s series, "Ill Form and Void Full," taught me how to see color.
  4. Hito Steyerl’s writings and video work function as a Bible for me.
  5. I want Barbara Kasten to adopt me one day.

Describe yourself as a piece of furniture?

A good work table just like the large one at LATITUDE. Sturdy, acrylic inlay, kinda cute...

Do you have a question for your readers?

What does the best cardboard box you’ve ever seen look like?

Check out Lauren's work at: www.laurendacy.com

 

Staff FeaturesColleen Keihm