The autofocus feature on a camera automatically prioritizes the focal point of an image. Removing the human instinct in the creation of an image, the mechanics of this tool can affect how we perceive something right in front of us. Autofocus uses this characteristic as the basis for a community-driven exhibition that invites visitors to consider various perspectives on the things and places we see every day.
Items such as postcards, historic markers, and maps shape how we view a community and can also inadvertently leave out what is most significant to those who live there. What if the community got to decide what is in focus? What would we choose? Instead of a statue in a park, would we pick a favorite park bench?
The exhibition includes collaborative activities that prompt visitors to share their viewpoints of the places, objects, or moments that make up our daily lives. Over the course of six months, the exhibition will come to life with a diversity of photographs, drawings, text, and dialogue generated by the community. The result will be an ever-changing and highly personalized understanding of Sheboygan.
Visitors are encouraged to return to the gallery to see the impact of their involvement and to continue the conversation with friends and family.