Jessamyn Lovell, a fine art photographer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Albuquerque, NM, is pursuing her private investigator’s license as a way to use the photographic image to draw attention to social and cultural power dynamics. D.I.Y. P.I. is the moniker for her most recent collaborative project focused on empowering others who, like herself, have been vulnerable at the hands of a capitalist society, and to position and activate her artwork within the creative economy.
Lovell is in the process of acquiring the 6,000 investigative work hours required to apply for a private investigator’s license in the state of New Mexico. Along with her formal training in private investigation, she works with clients to solve a variety of cases—these “do it yourself” experiences are perhaps the most important part of D.I.Y. P.I. Her client work so far has ranged from searching for lost cats, serving court documents, locating missing or estranged individuals, home security, and collaborations with other artists. Lovell’s working relationships are collaborative, performative, professional, and confidential and each client receives an artwork or file upon completion of the case.
For her Fall 2017 exhibition at Central Features, D.I.Y. P.I. will consist of tangible and ephemeral sousveillance materials, off-site events, and other surprises related to commissions from interested parties who opted to receive a personalized dossier of their own private investigation. These physical art works take their form in photography, video, hand made books and other objects. Additionally, Lovell will hold D.I.Y. P.I. clinics and interactive performances at the gallery during the run of the exhibition.