Papa John’s Project logo is by Misael Soto
Internet-induced oversaturation is not inherently problematic: more stuff is difficult to sift through, but it increases the probability of finding something good (also, is anything really difficult to sift through on the Internet? No.).
Hence the idea behind Papa John’s Projects, a Miami-based, Internet-based, Facebook-based, maybe-post-Internet gallery. “Everything on the Internet is spam,” says its description. Thus: “PJP is a post-irrelevant art space with the sole purpose of existing within social media.”
Founded by Miami artists Hugo Montoya, Domingo Castillo, and Jessica Gispert—now based in Düsseldorf —PJP was primarily Montoya’s vision, one he’d had for two years. The space’s official ‘opening’ ran the entire month of January—31 shows in 31 days—and was an idea Castillo and Gispert had long before, too: “One solo show for every day of the month,” explains Gispert. “One way to make something excessive and exhausting like this possible would be on the Internet, and the best way to reach an audience would be to use a popular social media source like Facebook.”
31 Solo Shows in 31 Days opened with Jim Drain’s The Thing Today To There Tomorrow. “I said that if Jim said yes to being the first artist, I would do the work and find 30 more artists,” says Montoya. From there, Facebook event invites were sent to Papa John’s Projects “fans”—those who’d liked the page—daily, announcing each upcoming solo show later that day. Most “shows” were mini-feeds, featuring post after post of images or poems created by participating artists; others were just one or two videos, creeping you out, sometimes in live-streaming-real time, by a roster as varied and weird as the work itself: Nickolaus Typaldos, the Institute of New Feeling, Angelina Dreem, Kuby Nnamdie, Agustina Woodgate, Rob Goyanes, Tara Long, Typoe Gran, Syndey Graham, Justin H. Long, Patti Hernandez, PJP’s founders Domingo Castillo and Jessica Gispert, Orlando Estrada, Hilde Helphenstein, and enough more to fill the month. You could scroll through yourself to find the rest, and it’ll read like a tightly-curated, less mind-numbing version of your newsfeed, which is precisely what it is.