Day 7 | Joe Nanashe

joe • noun informal 1 an ordinary man

That which defines me, defines me as ordinary. This series (currently comprised of 75 videos and counting) is an examination of the ways in which the image of “Joe” is portrayed on celluloid. How is the identity of the character built by the activity and impetus of the other characters surrounding him? How do these representation reflect back onto me, both as the viewer of the original film, and the creator of this new condensed version? And finally, how can I reclaim my individuality and save my good name?

Study for a Self-Portrait (Airplane!), 2006-2007


Study for a Self-Portrait (A Bullet for Joey), 2006-2007


Study for a Self-Portrait (Shane), 2006-2007


Study for a Self-Portrait (Stay Away Joe), 2006-2007

Study for a Self-Portrait on You Tube



Visions of a camera’s last seconds before impact with the street are slowed down; each image becomes a painting. The impact breaks the tape, creating a second, abstract, physical recording on the tape before the moment that creates it. The future effects the past.

Drop, 2006



A figure leaps into the air and crashes down before the camera. Through the repetition of action, the figure smashes through the floor and kills the camera. What was illusion is rendered physical.

Jump, 2005



A figure moves into frame, raises a gun and fires at the camera. In a twist on Chris Burden’s Shoot, the figure fires at the medium in which the action is documented. The viewer becomes active (or captive) in this murder suicide pact between artist and audience, where successful completion means mutual annihilation.

Shoot, 2004


Joe Nanashe – Brooklyn New York

9 thoughts on “Day 7 | Joe Nanashe

  1. In reference to ‘Drop,’ ‘Jump’ and ‘Shoot,’ I enjoy Nanashe’s work. The emphasis is violence through a metaphorical dislocation between the actual and the virtual. It is interesting that this violence is captured on video, rendering it somewhat distant or harmless to the viewer and at the same time the mechanical object is physically damaged. The outcome of his work seems to invite the viewer to participate, so there is a play on mediation, though this mediation isn’t acting in the traditional way. This work is like a visual representation of Glitch music – an electronic music genre whos origins derive from a failure of digital technology. Glitch uses system crashes, bugs, errors, hardware noise, skipping, audio distorition and circuit bending as it’s building blocks.

  2. I walked into the building today just as “Shoot” was playing, and I made out the figure of the man with his arms raised and seemed to be pointing a gun straight back at me through the screen..and then after a second fired. I normally play FPS (First person shooter) games, but I still reacted and backed up abit when it went off. I really did feel an interaction with the shooter and it really caught me by surprise.

  3. I found the “Joe” video to be completely inane. I did not enjoy it at all. I get the idea of modern-day, pop culture driven self portrait, but I found it choppy and annoying. Thank goodness it only played for one day.

  4. The Joe video is very interesting. I have started to notice how many videos have the character’s name repeated many times though out the video. The video being shot at is interesting. I find it soothing in a weird way. I have been there when you just want to shoot your own equipment.

  5. Watching ‘Joe’ was very enjoyable. I thought it really connected the loss of meaning and the multiplicity of the name Joe. While watching it many many times I really started to get the idea of loss of identity. It seems that these Joes are products of their environments.

  6. “Joe” was cute. I would have liked it better if it were all about Kevin. It is something that gets old too quickly. That is why I think it is a great piece for a “1 day only” showing. In fact many of the pieces were perfect for a small showing. The problem is that if I was not around for the one day, then I missed it. Oh well.

  7. “Joe” was interesting because i feel that naturally, we all notice and are alerted when we hear our names or words that sound like it.
    my father always called me Jack, and when ever i hear “jack and jill” or “jackalope” or “jackie chan” i feel sort awkwardly aware.

  8. “Save your good name?” i don’t think joe should have anything to worry about in regards to saving his name. the name joe or joseph has been around since biblical times. thinking that every average joe from the past is what defines you is pretty sad. lets face it you could do this with any name that pops into your head.

  9. nothing beats shooting your camera. And if the first time isn’t enough then make sure its dead. I enjoyed this clip because of the uniqueness and the way it says “you will never see another clip like this”

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