Carlos de la Sancha 4


Presented by WORTHLESSSTUDIOS in partnership with the Lower Eastside Girls Club and featuring Destiny Mata

FREE FILM is an ongoing photography project crowdsourcing images from a diverse and spontaneously arranged body of analog photographers. In every iteration, WORTHLESSSTUDIOS provides photographers with a free roll of 35MM film in exchange for their time and creativity. Each participating artist shoots a roll of film in response to a prompt phrase, exploring the emotional resonances of a range of collective and individual experiences. Photographers return their exposed roll for free developing and scanning services and each iteration of FREE FILM culminates with a book featuring a selection of photographs from the returned rolls.

At Art on Paper 2023, experience the project’s 5th iteration, with daily activities throughout run-of-show.

Thursday, September 7th, FREE FILM: NYC Project Introduction: Meet Photographer-in-Residence Destiny Mata and get to know the teams at WORTHLESSSTUDIOS and Lower Eastside Girls Club.

Friday, September 8th, Camera Day: Be a photographer for a day with FREE FILM: NYC! Borrow a camera, get a roll of FREE film and take some photos. You’ll also learn how to develop your own roll with us!

Saturday, September 9th, Camera Day: Be a photographer for a day with FREE FILM: NYC! Borrow a camera, get a roll of FREE film and take some photos. You’ll also learn how to develop your own roll with us!

Sunday, September 10th, Camera Day: Be a photographer for a day with FREE FILM: NYC! Borrow a camera, get a roll of FREE film and take some photos. You’ll also learn how to develop your own roll with us!

Sunday, September 10th, Open Darkroom: The Airstream-darkroom will be open to the public! Come experience the printing process firsthand and learn all about black and white photography.

About Destiny Mata: Destiny Mata is a Mexican-American photographer and filmmaker. Based in her native New York City, she focuses on issues of subculture and community. After studying photojournalism at LaGuardia Community College and San Antonio College, she spent two years as the Director of Photography Programs at the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Mata’s work has been featured in New York Times, The Nation, VICE, and The Culture Crush. Mata has recently exhibited her work in La Vida En Loisaida: Life on the Lower East Side at Photoville Festival in 2020. She took part in the group exhibition Concerned Global Images for Global Crisis at the International Center of Photography in 2020. Her work was included in Young Latino Artists 21: Amexican at the Mexic-Arte Museum in 2016, and in Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy at The Museum of The City of New York in 2014. As part of her residency for the FREE FILM project in the Airstream mobile-darkroom she received 10 rolls of black and white film and chemistry to develop and print her photographs, as well as 24/7 access to the Airstream.

“…having this space allowed folks to experience how to use a film camera and print, but also it’s important because the neighborhood is changing drastically […] so to have these cameras, give them out to my neighbors […] we are preserving our own history, and who else better to do it than ourselves?” -Destiny Mata

About WORTHLESSSTUDIOS: WORTHLESSSTUDIOS provides space, materials, technical assistance, and resources for artists of all backgrounds to realize their creative visions. We are committed to supporting artists’ fabrication needs in NYC and producing engaging public art and exhibitions.

We dream up and execute art projects in collaboration with our community partners and resident artists. In producing art rooted in artistic activation, community engagement and education, we believe that we must go beyond simply installing artwork in public spaces. Two projects, the FREE FILM Project and the Plywood Protection Project, represent the core of our programming. 1-800 Happy Birthday was our first major exhibition in our new home at 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn.

WORTHLESSSTUDIOS is a New York not-for-profit 501(c)3.

About the Lower Eastside Girls Club: Since 1996 the Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC) has supported young women and gender expansive youth of color throughout New York City in leveraging their inner power to shape a better future for themselves, their community and the world. As an innovative learning hub we model practices of community resilience and healing-centered engagement. By championing young people and channeling their curiosity and creative energy, we are transforming our world to one of  “Joy. Power. Possibility.”   In 2022, we expanded our mission and service population with the launch of our Center for Wellbeing and Happiness (CWBH) with a core belief that the wellbeing of our members is intimately connected to the wellbeing of her family, her community, and her world.

LESGC’s 40,000 sq. ft. facility offers a safe space of belonging for young people ages 10-23 with programs in the arts, sciences, leadership, entrepreneurship, college and career prep and culinary. Facilities include a Maker Shop; Biology lab; Art and Design Studio; Digital Media Center;  Sound Studio; Material Arts  Studio; Rooftop Farm; Culinary Learning Center; and Planetarium. We offer 40+ unique programs a week, free of charge.  Our Center for Wellbeing & Happiness encompasses classes in yoga, movement, mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, and access to counseling and family support services. Through CWBH we deepen support for wrap-around mental health services with the aim of fostering collective healing and psychosocial well-being to ensure our members thrive now and in the future. @girlsclubny

Image Credit: Carlos de la Sancha