Arts » Visual Arts

Tri-X-Noise Preview

The one-day exhibit showing off punk rock photography by hobo phototramp Bill Daniel

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To multi-talented visual artist Bill Daniel, there’s no place like the road. A self-described hobo filmmaker and phototramp, the Texas native is an unabashed admirer of underground subcultures who’s notorious for hopping boxcars with drifters a time or two. When reflecting back on his creative roots though, the 56-year-old says his current passion was initially sparked in college, after stumbling upon Houston’s early ‘80s punk scene.

“While I was still a straight-laced business student, I was curious and started going to punk shows, and that changed my life,” he reflects.

Attracted to the scene’s inclusive and participatory nature, Daniel began bringing his 35 mm camera out to sweaty punk gigs, capturing images of bands and fans alike. He remembers, “Shooting bands was my initial thing, and then quickly I just turned the camera to the audience, for more abstract shots of people. It was less about a performer-audience axis and more about things going on in all directions.” Now more than three decades later, he still enjoys capturing the underground arts world through the lens of his camera, regularly showing off his work throughout the U.S.
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On Monday, Daniel will visit Fountain Square’s General Public Collective, presenting a pop-up photo exhibit called Tri-X-Noise. Featuring 30 years of 35 mm photography, the gallery will consist of 160 different non-digital prints, including several from Daniel’s early Texas punk days. Much like a traveling band, the mobile Tri-X-Noise presentation is for one night only, with Daniel simply setting up and tearing down his giant wall display in every space he visits. In correlation with this event, there will also be a screening of Daniel’s highly praised Who is Bozo Texino? documentary as well.

Originally, Daniel was driven to create his freestanding mobile exhibit after occasionally running into logistical troubles while presenting his 2D work. He explains, “You show up at a place, and there’s not much wall space or there’s a conduit or window in the way. I had been thinking about how to solve this problem for a long time.” Considering his itinerant lifestyle at times, he also admittedly struggles with booking spaces far enough in advance as well.

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“I can barely plan a month in advance so this idea of having a completely 100 percent self-contained show solves all the problems for somebody like me whose organizational capacity is not far-reaching,” he says.

Channeling the spirit of bands in his photos, Daniel’s gallery setup is undoubtedly reminiscent of a DIY punk concert, with the only lighting being two rows of clip lights on the floor. He elaborates, “The content in the pictures is replicated in the room that they’re shown in, with these lights on the floor. It’s kind of hard to see the photos and you have to move around to get the light just right. You’ll maybe trip on an extension cord too.”

Ultimately, his hope is that viewers will make the connection between his touring exhibit and touring bands.

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“It’s there for one night like a band, and then it travels,” he says. “The model of the way music is presented and distributed is something that I think can work for visual art, and that’s my thesis.”

At General Public Collective, Daniel will have several darkroom prints of his work for sale, including old photos of iconic punk acts like Black Flag, The Misfits and more. This show will also be back at the Indianapolis Museum of Art next spring, for those unable to make it out to this Monday night event.

Sept. 28
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
GPC Fountain Square 
FREE



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