School of Art, Media, and Technology

The Photographic Universe: A Conference

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The Photography Program in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design, The Aperture Foundation, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and The Shpilman Institute for Photography jointly present The Photographic Universe: A Conference. This two-day symposium brings together a range of leading photographers, scientists, theoreticians, historians, and philosophers, drawing from the faculty at Parsons, professionals in the science and technology fields, as well as experts from external institutions, to reflect and discuss photography at a pivotal moment in its history.

The Moon, Lunar Orbiter 1, NASA, 1966.
The Photographic Universe: A Conference
Wednesday to Thursday, March 2–3, 2011
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

The field of photography is constantly changing. What constitutes a ‘photographer’ or a ‘photograph’ has always been redefined by technological innovations. In the last two decades, the digital revolution and the Internet have enabled us to adapt new photographic processes in accelerated rate, rapidly altering our definition of photography. One might even say that photography is now in a similar place to where it was during its invention ––a time when its emerging cultural significance quickly expanded due to innovative technological development. The Photographic Universe: A Conference reflects on this current moment – with the persuasive digitalization of the medium and its speedy permeation into contemporary life – what is the importance of photography as a medium and a discipline? Prominent thinkers and practitioners from broad artistic, scientific, cultural, sociopolitical arcs discuss their role in the expanding photographic field, evaluate its increasingly blurry relationship between art and life, and speculate how photographic images will continue to change the way we see our world.

The conference features one-on-one conversations between individuals from disparate professional and research backgrounds. Each speaker contributes a ten-minute presentation on the subject of photography, followed by a twenty minute dialogue between presenters.

Guest speakers include: Richard Benson, Chris Boot, Susie Linfield, Walter Benn Michaels, Charlotte Cotton, Andrea Geyer, David Reinfurt, Trevor Paglen, Penelope Umbrico, James Welling, representatives from Adobe Systems, MIT Media Lab, and Google, among others.

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