This program is part of the Critical Jamming series, presented by the ICP Lab. The ICP Lab is a new home for visual storytellers to experiment with technology and create interactive and immersive experiences.

Independent publisher Aron Mörel and curator Joshua Chuang host an afternoon of visual conversations and live performances by three artists: Asger Carlsen, Jeff Mermelstein, and Nick Waplington. Carlsen will edit images from Weegee’s series Distortions using everything from digital technology to scissors and glue sticks, Mermelstein will zoom in and frame out details of pictures from selected photo books, and Waplington will paint to his chosen music playlist while inviting others to ask questions and draw alongside him. All three artists will share insights and reflections on their creative process with Mörel, Chuang, and the audience.

This is a free event, but please register in advance.


Asger Carlsen is a Danish photographer born in 1973. Carlsen’s career started at the age of 16 when he sold a photo to the local newspaper. The photo showed the police yelling at him and his friends. He is best known for his distorted, monochromatic photographs of human figures, published as a conversational book with Roger Ballen, No Joke (Mörel Books). Carlsen’s human shapes without a face, with too many eyes, without legs, consisting only of lower parts of the body, deconstruct the common principles of photography. Carlsen, the meticulous visual dadaist, started his carrier photographing crime scenes and moved into commercial photography. Uncomfortable with the result of his own creatures, he didn’t show his first prototype to anyone for a year.

Joshua Chuang joined the New York Public Library as the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Associate Director for Art, Prints, and Photographs and the Robert B. Menschel Senior Curator of Photography in 2016. He is the former chief curator of the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography (CCP). He curated the traveling exhibition Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs, and organized the exhibitions Remembering 9/11 and First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography. He earned a BA from Dartmouth and an MBA from Yale and worked at the Howard Greenberg Gallery as well as Pace/MacGill before joining the Yale University Art Gallery in 2004. He became the gallery’s first dedicated photography curator in 2007.

Jeff Mermelstein is a prolific street photographer whose books include SideWalkTwirl/Run, and an upcoming book on his street photography edited by David Campany and published by Mörel Books. He was born in 1957 in central New Jersey. He is the recipient of an Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship and the European Publishers Award for Photography. Mermelstein is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography. His work has been published in many magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, New York, Artforum, Aperture, DoubleTake, and Life. He has also done ad campaigns for Commes des Garçons, Topshop, and Adidas. His photographs are featured in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the International Center of Photography; the New York Public Library; and others. Mermelstein lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn.

Aron Mörel is a London-based non-profit independent publisher specializing in limited edition photo and art books. Mörel’s intimate and playful while respectful collaboration with artists is what defines his collections best. Mörel Books is “the final step in an artist’s process and encourages the artist to engage in the conception, design, and feel of the book.” is very similar to the independent music labels of the 90s. is currently a collection of over 35 books with 16 out-of-print. His book series seem an ongoing poetic shred metaphorically bringing together Corinne Day; Nick Waplington; Stephen Shore; JH Engstrom; Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Arthur Rimbaud; Ryan McGinley; David Armstrong; Boris Mikhailov; Nobuyoshi Araki; Alix Marie, and others. Paper Journal defines Mörel’s publishing style as, “An old city full of different quarters and winding streets. The only thing that binds it all together is a desire to stay on the pulse, to keep the medium of the artist’s book alive and healthy with new ideas.”

Nick Waplington is a British artist living and working in the United States. He is the recipient of the European Photo Award at the Rencontre D’Arles Photo Festival (1990) and an ICP Infinity Award (1993), and he represented the UK at the 2001 Venice Biennale. Over the last thirty years, Waplington has developed a body of work marked by eclecticism and juxtaposition, using both traditional and new media to push the boundaries of contemporary art practice. While best known as a photographer, Waplington also works extensively with paint, video, computer-generated imagery, sculpture, and found material. In addition to his solo projects, Waplington has also collaborated with a wide array of other artists, including Mexican conceptualist Miguel Calderon, British cartoonist David Shrigley, writer Irvine Welsh, musicians Tricky and Orbital, fashion designer Alexander McQueen, and film director Paul Thomas Anderson. In 2015, Waplington was the first living British artist to have a solo photographic exhibition in the main galleries of the Tate, London with his project centred on Nazi prisoners of war in Britain (We Live As We Dream: Alone, 2015), which was published by Mörel Books. Waplington and Aron Mörel are currently working on their third book together, focusing on Waplington’s juxtaposed painting and photography.

About Critical Jamming

The term “critical jamming” refers to combining of the sharing of knowledge with a rhythm. It induces the importance of a collective experience. In Critical Jamming events, part of the ICP Lab, moderators and speakers share different angles and stories around a theme; their words are supported by visual and audio references. These events produce an inclusive and inviting space for the audience to witness and take part in the conversation. The critical jamming experience explores new forms of communication. It doesn’t aim to find answers, but rather to raise more questions.

ICP’s Center for Visual Culture and accompanying programs have been made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation. 
TOP IMAGE: Nick Waplington, No Light Only Darkness Visible, 2015. Oil and acrylic on canvas. © Nick Waplington