All the Best, Alice 2014

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CREDITS Charles Traub, chair Randy West, director of operations, faculty Michelle Leftheris, systems administrator (network and video), faculty Seth Lambert, systems support specialist, faculty Adam Bell, academic advisor, faculty Kelly Sullivan, assistant to the chair

VISUAL ARTS PRESS All videos and film excerpts can be viewed at :

Anthony P. Rhodes, executive vice president, creative director Michael J. Walsh, director of design & digital media Brian E. Smith, art director Sheilah Ledwidge, associate editor Cover image: Aaron Wax, class of 2014 Back cover image: Yintzu Huang, class of 2014 sketch video stills from APHASIA



Jesse Chun Ming-Jer Kuo Charles Sainty

The proposal is a game plan as well as a creative endeavor. It is the big idea that leads us to a careful examination of a specific point of view.

Throughout the thesis year, the faculty will help students achieve their thesis goals. We will witness their excitement and struggle as they wrestle with a demanding exploration. The reward is to experience how each student’s thoughts become transformed, built and actualized.

The steeled determination of our students is paramount to their success and a good reminder that they are drivers of their own ideas and ultimately their works of art.

Randy West, faculty

Jesse Chun  class of 2014

O N PA P E R I was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up between there and Hong Kong, attending international schools where fellow expat families came and left every year. Life was a collection of new faces and languages, familiar jetlag, long distance calls and green cards. Everything and everyone I knew was ephemeral. I moved to New York for my undergraduate studies and lived there post graduation, only to relocate to Seoul, then Hong Kong, Paris, Toronto and back to New York thereafter. I have never identified with a specific place or culture as my home. For a nomad in the contemporary globalized world, the process of migration is an exciting, yet assiduous one. However familiar you are with the bureaucratic paperwork of immigration, the questions that define your candidacy as an insider can be blunt and uncomfortable. Your answers on these documents can validate that you are in fact worthy and qualified to be a part of their structure for a permitted amount of time. Or not. When you are required to list all your residential addresses since the age of eighteen, asked where your spouse proposed to you or what color your eyes are, your self-image is summed up by information on paper. Can personhood be captured on immigration forms as an accurate representation of oneself? The discrepancy between data and the individual drives me to question the ways our identities are constructed and validated. On Paper investigates the notion of identity in the context of information and migration. I employ methods of appropriation and erasure to recontextualize passports and immigration forms as landscapes, graphic design and wordplay. In the landscape pieces, I remove the individuals’ data on their passport pages and reframe the pictorial component on them. Through this process, I reveal ideological images of nature found in the background of passport pages where one’s entry and exit data are stamped and recorded. In the immigration papers, I examine the information of identity represented on them through a selective removal of text or graphics. By manually and digitally manipulating various elements of the content and tactility of paper, I decontextualize the power of the object that is used to determine one’s status as an insider versus outsider in a place. In doing so, I contemplate a sense of displacement and the elusiveness of identity that cannot be reduced to information on paper. By metaphorically and visually unfolding layers of paper-based objects involved in migration, I create a poetic expression of my transcultural experience in the contemporary globalized world. The ethereal landscapes, minimal line works and poems found in bureaucratic papers of identification reveal the complexity of migration: the ideologies, interrogation, displacement and dreams that become a part of who we are.





Ming-Jer Kuo  class of 2014

C I T Y: A C O M P L E X S Y S T E M Cities operate as organic systems; they grow, decay and change with time. Nature is often squeezed out during the urban developing process. In many urban areas, nostalgia for nature triggers urban planners to create man-made parks, lakes and other natural habitats. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This continuing growth and the accumulation of capital demand constant change in the construction and operation of urban systems. City: A Complex System is a body of work consisting of photographic prints and a sculptural installation. Growing up in Taipei City, Taiwan, and living in New York City has inspired me to research city and urban development. My work is the result of that exploration, which was developed through research and visual analysis. I use shifting perspectives and variations in scales to study urban areas and form, and to examine and respond to ideas of urban organization and management. The Walker series illustrates my perception of pedestrian rhythms in New York City. With a digital mise-en-scène approach to capturing repeated walking gestures and patterns, the work expresses the unseen order that operates within the urban system. As I photographed the city, I gradually broadened my perception of urban living and strived to echo the mega scale of this metropolis. With my interest in urban systems, I extract patterns from the city and transform them as the basis for multiple visual works. The goal of my work is to engage and encourage viewers to see our living environment from fresh perspectives. With Google’s satellite mapping tool, for example, we now can access aerial photographs and position ourselves in our living spaces easily and virtually. I have introduced current imaging technology into my work, which recalls the approach of lens-based scientific observation. Through the application of aerial perspectives and satellite imagery, urban areas are investigated from a more analytical point of view. Generally, the use of obliquely shot aerial photographs plays a critical role in the interpretation of vertically shot images made for mapping procedures. But in my working process, I have chosen not to employ oblique aerial viewpoints at all, so that all the constructions visible within the images, extracted from vertical aerial photographs, are abstracted in order to engage the curiosity and imagination of the viewer. In my Reconstruction series, I extracted constructions as seen in aerial photographs and defunction the architecture by flipping it to playfully create a new skyline of Lego-ish illusion. With the unseen skylines of unlikely constructions in New York City, I want to encourage viewers to rethink the imagery of a city and, in broader terms, the way we perceive cities. To expand the visual experience, I began experimenting with installations. In addition to working with shifting perspective and scale, I want to bring the physical movement of the viewer into the work. The installation Suburban Form suggests a system of suburban constructions that mimic natural systems. With the development of urban areas, humans not only overlaid their living patterns onto nature, but also saw this phenomenon as an extension of nature. This installation plays with this idea in its site-specific size and with its natural organic format. Juxtaposing plant branches and acetates of suburban construction images, I design an environment in which the natural and man-made co-exist, creating a more physical and emotional experience for the viewer. I was, and continue to be, shaped by urban rhythms and atmosphere, and city space, and fascinated with excavating the unseen parts of metropolitan regions. Employed in Taipei as an environmental engineer for more than 11 years, I was trained to see things from an analytical view, experience shifts of perspectives, transform information into useful formats, and pay attention to environmental issues, all of which influence the way I see the world and make art.

10TH AVE, W. 23RD ST., NYC




Charles Sainty  class of 2014

MEDIAN Being immersed in software environments for a significant part of my life has affected my sense of the real. I want to explore those moments after I leave the screen and some residual effect of that software environment stays with me: for example, having flashbacks to video games, or thinking “control+Z” after a real-world mistake. While there is nothing very surprising about this metaphysical glitching from a psychological standpoint, it provides me with brief, uncanny experiences of the physical world as a notional space. My biological experience of reality seems like a truncated, virtual model of a different order, built from necessity by evolution. The images and videos I make position these forms of experience as existing on a continuum. Representational media produced through photogrammetry and 3D scanning offers a more flexible relationship to the real than that which is proposed by photography; a photograph provides the user with a static, singular perspective, while a 3D capture creates a representational environment to be experienced outside of time, implying a rationalized, geometric space that is subject to the user. Mainstream visual culture has moved online, into the highly articulated virtual environments of video games, and the spectacular, computer-generated images of contemporary film. These visual media have become part of our daily lives, and their growing ubiquity means that the collective unconscious increasingly resembles an aggregate of trending media content. To represent this membrane between real and virtual space, I use computational photography to explore my increasingly equivalent relationships to the real and virtual environments in which I spend my time. Photogrammetry works by interpreting geometric data about a space or an object using a sequence of photographs. Once the 3D shapes are generated, these depth maps are rejoined with corresponding photographic textures, yielding something that looks like a blocky, digital version of the original, although affected by missing or inaccurate data (affectations I enhance). Since all that is required to create a 3D scan using photogrammetry are a few legible images of a subject from multiple angles, the right tracking shots from previously recorded footage can be broken down into stills and processed into a 3D model. In this way, one can create digital representations of places and things that may exist only within the proposed reality of a movie. Applying this principle, I chose scans of locations and characters from films that have had a significant cultural impact. LAX is an unbroken tracking shot moving through a selection of these scans, which appear as individual worlds within a universe of media objects. These scans oscillate in legibility as the camera changes position, shifting between undefined geometric forms and blocky facsimiles of filmic environments, again featuring missing and inaccurate data. It reveals the artifice of these familiar environments, not only by isolating them from their original context, but also by remediating them—representing them as raw, informational content, streaming like a train of thought, or a kind of pop cultural photo album.


This piece is intended to engage with memory; specifically, it represents the space of cultural memory, the objects and characters that populate it. It alludes to the abstract but inevitable interrelationships between these cultural artifacts through its sequencing. It is a simple reorganization of existing data, an act of appropriation designed to destabilize the familiar. To this same end, I created a series of amassed objects captured photogrammetrically and rendered as geometric abstractions. The large format, inkjet prints depict assemblages of objects in various states of storage. They are meant to function as a phenomenological critique, emphasizing the distinction between objecthood and ideological content. The distortion of the hard, geometric contours, the visible polygons that make up the three-dimensional mesh under the photographic surface texture, lend the images a kind of digital impasto intended to clarify their computational origin, and promote the subject’s status as malleable data. Console with Flowers depicts an assemblage of flowers, media, and assorted household objects. The flowers have been placed into a large plastic cup from a fried chicken restaurant, next to a row of video game cases from which a similar, floral form is emanating. The rhyme between these blooming forms underscores an equivalence between the real and the simulated that resonates throughout the project, as well as engaging with traditional forms of still life. A ruler on the table implies spatial verisimilitude, while an alarm clock facing away from the viewer indicates the scan exists outside of measurable time. The media objects function as cultural signifiers, as well as addressing the crucial distinction between physical objects and the information they represent, a distinction we embody as conscious, physical beings. A similar strategy is used in Materials 1. A darkened storage area illuminated by flashlight is represented as a fractured, geometric abstraction. Kept in a basement storage area, the depicted mass of objects (trophies, children’s toys, an old bicycle) has been preserved largely for its sentimental value. In that sense they are signifiers more than objects, representative of ideological rather than physical content. Both visually and conceptually they are rendered virtual, in order to critically engage with our propensity to conflate the object and the idea. Likewise, there is a correlation between physical and digital storage proposed by the image. Both projects serve as ways to juxtapose our domestic and popular culture, the stuff of daily life, with the universal objectivity of mathematics, the visual language through which they are represented. I use computational photography to provide this virtual, geometric vision of the physical world in order to encourage a critique of biological thinking. In that sense, these works are designed to provoke the sense that our relationship to the real, while apparently familiar, is a contingent, illusory construction.




The focal point of student activity in any given semester is critique. Guided by a wealth of prominent figures in the visual arts, and assisted by their peers, students concentrate on producing a coherent body of work that best reflects their individual talents and challenges the current boundaries of their media.













Dear Girl, I write this to you now but I know five words in it’s a futile venture, you will never read it. What was said couldn’t be taken back, what happened was a mistake and I’m going to work on coming to peace with it. I know my words cut you and even when it was happening I couldn’t stop and I am sorry for that. I don’t seek to justify but I feel like I owe you a better answer than my hungover apologies the next day. You see, I can remember the first time I saw you as clearly and intensely as some of the more traumatic parts of my life. I was working at the coffee shop at our school, a morning shift with clay just as an excuse for free coffee and breakfast. The clicking of high heels on the slate floor caught my attention as soon as you rounded the corner and headed in my direction and all I could do was stare, the yolk of my breakfast sandwich dripping down my fingers and landing on the counter. You were wearing an airy white blouse tucked into an intensely tight black skirt that had a slit up the side to reveal even more of the fishnet stockings that clung to your legs. You drank your cup of coffee at the counter looking at me through your oversized glasses, your lipstick left ruby red prints on the glass that I washed off after you left as clay was going on and on saying “I’m going to fuck that girl so gross” blah, blah, blah. All I wanted to do was take you to dinner and look into your eyes and kiss you if you let me. But yet before I got the chance to smile at you and talk to you more than a handful of times you ended up in the bed of clay and it wasn’t just a one-time thing. I thought that good friends’ girlfriends and exes are off limits and as a point of respect I backed off. I just told myself that you were too pretty for me anyways but it didn’t stop me crying myself to sleep the first night I saw you and Clay kiss. And so life went on and its not like I could stop seeing you around if I wanted to. I became cool and distant, resolved now to not ever let you know the secret power you had over me. In class I sat behind you fantasizing that maybe one day you would turn around and say “I love you” or “I need you” or something crazy. I kept quiet and joined you for cigarettes, and laughed a little as you and Stormy went back and forth in an unceasing barrage of dick jokes. But polite conversation wasn’t satisfying and I figured if I wasn’t allowed to touch you maybe I could photograph you. And you agreed to cook and clean and smoke cigarettes while getting naked as I watched and shot pictures. The day of I was sweating as I set up the lights, shaking and barely holding myself together, a total wreck. You were sitting on the papasan chair smoking a cigarette, just watching me. I said, “lose the dress,” trying to sound cool when what I wanted to say was how beautiful you were and how much I dreamt about you and how I longed to touch your skin and whisper in your ear, “ If you let me, I would move the heavens and the earth just to see you smile.” Do you remember looking at me when you took your dress off, staring deeply into my eyes your gaze only broken as you pulled it over your head? I showed the photographs to our class because I saw in the prints your gaze, you saw me. And to say publicly and for the first time and almost out loud that I was interested, infatuated. But the point was too subtle and our classmates too dim and you never responded either, and I fell back into my insecurities: not good enough for her. I never was able to kill those feelings but the passing time eventually took the edge off the memories. Without fail looking at those photographs even years later knotted my stomach and pounded my heart. The way you looked at me drives me crazy and transcending the years drove me to contact you again. I had to know for sure, who was that look for?




























The In-Betweenness of Cinema by Natasha Chuk The early experimenters of photographic motion, and ultimately cinema, catapulted us into a territory of the impossible. Through a perfected mechanical trick, representational live action—a contradiction in both words and concept— became possible. What we failed to realize then, and perhaps only peripherally understand now, is that the magic of the moving image lies in the delicate place between presence and absence. Cinema is a machine act of movement operating at this tense intersection, and is thus a mechanism at play with truth and fiction.

We experience moments of cinematic truth when we

witness the reproduced actions of human movement and sounds, personal experiences and memories, each likeness intact. But cinema is not anything without the illusions upon which it is built. It is an instrument of deliberate and concerted deception, suspending or simply delaying perceptual doubt. The success of the trick plays on this deceit: we yearn for the image’s return, masking its stasis and absence, so the illusion is fulfilled. The information output of the moving image also relies on a disappearing act. Information is registered by the blocking of light, sculpting stories through its negation.

SHARON A. MOONEY The Popcorn Kid, 2013 The booth is where time and existence transform. Within its confines, Rebecca is in tune with the sounds, smells and demands of this closed-off world. With her

A film’s playback depends on a symphony of actions: speed,

own realist take, she discusses its beauty, nightmares and future at the historic

light, and a moment of rest—like a mechanical blink—be-

Music Box Theater.

tween each frame are necessary to administer the magic

Sharon A. Mooney is an LA-based video artist who hails from Richmond, Virginia.

act, the illusion of movement. As such, cinema performs the

Her neo-realistic work in documentary portrait, narrative, and animation has been

invisible: a device of sleight-of-hand trickery in its construc-

screened internationally in a variety of festivals and galleries. She currently is a

tion and replay, which alternates between concealment

faculty member at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television in Los Angeles.

and revelation. Without the fictions of cuts, cross-dissolves, double-exposures and the like, cinema does not exist and its truth isn’t believable.

At its core, cinema demonstrates Derrida’s notion of

the crypt—that which disguises the act of hiding and hides the disguise. We could say it is a device of showing and hiding, and therefore necessarily showing through hiding, and ultimately hiding through showing. But in this magic act of profound trickery, cinema delves into the real in ways that are incomparable. Cinema acts as a stand-in for reality, a shared realism that entertains and moves. Benjamin puts it this way: “Magician is to surgeon as painter is to cinematographer. The painter maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, whereas the cinematographer penetrates deeply into its tissue.”

Cinema is at once tethered to the real and entirely

a rejection of it, illustrated by the ways in which it documents parallel but diametrically opposed spatially and temporally enacted situations. There is a remarkable kind of violence in the act of filmmaking, calling to mind the parallels to war outlined by Sontag: we shoot film, we capture images, we splice (cut) them together. The so-called violent logic of cinema is precisely what allows us to bear witness to the ungraspable truth of its fiction, never mind the medium in which its images and sounds are collected, organized, and played back. We read its images (shadows) as truth.

For these reasons, the cinematic form is an impres-

sive one: it is a construct which is tied both to life, along with the virtue of being animate; and to death, in as far as it is an object that occupies a space in which nothing happens except the illusion of making stillness appear to be in motion. The projector is thus a life support machine, entangling life and death in a suspension of realism while mimicking reality. The digital form is all the more illusory, no longer dealing with the tangibility of objects required to produce shadowy forms or whirring machinery for playback. Against the backdrop of digital transformation and ubiquity, cinema has been accused of losing itself to the intangible substance of data. With data, the medium is further concealed, coded by a language not exclusive to cinema. But regardless of its medium

I VÁ N C O R T Á Z A R Tesoros (excerpt), 2013 My grandparents have been married for 60 years. Tesoros is a documentary of their real life relationship, juxtaposed with a fictional story about platonic love, starring them as actors. 1 fiction + 1 documentary = 2 love stories. Tesoros is a mixture between a modern fairytale and the bittersweet reality of love. Iván Cortázar, a 2012 NYFA Fellow, was born in Bilbao, Spain. His short film Una Historia de Invierno won the 2005 Black Maria Film Festival Citation Award and

of capture and replay, cinema has always taken pleasure

has been screened internationally in numerous festivals. His 2009 Artium Museum

in yielding a figurative dance between looking and seeing.

Fellowship project, They Sleep Beneath the Water, won first prize for video at that year’s Pancho Cossío Art Competition, and his latest film, Desastre(s), has been screened in more than 75 international film festivals, winning 12 awards. He is currently writing his first feature film and developing an interactive children’s book.

The indifferent mechanical or digital eye looks and

we see. As Bazin believed, the impassivity of the photographic lens captures only the raw truth of the object it photographs. Unfiltered and unencumbered by human error or bias, recorded images and sounds instrumentalize a certain kind of truth that invariably collapses with fiction. The very basis of cinema—its rearrangement and distortion of time and space—depends on this. There is no denying cinema’s power to transform and inspire audiences. Through it, we have the capacity to remember, fantasize and invent. A film’s opening shots are a window into another world. Its collected images and sounds persuade and shape experience, which are unmeasurable and endless.

The indifferent mechanical or digital eye records,

therefore it bears the truth, but in its recording also lies its fiction.

The trick of cinema is not only in its inherent illusion;

it’s in its refusal to pick sides. Neither truth nor fiction, alive or dead, present or absent, cinema lies in a state of in-betweenness, a place decidedly between simulacra and confession.

Natasha Chuk is a media theorist and independent curator who holds a PhD in Media and Communication Philosophy from the European Graduate School. Her work focuses on the intersections between technology, interface and perception of media objects and particularly the ways invisibility is created, controlled and negotiated. Her first book, Vanishing Points: Articulations of Death, Fragmentation, and the Unexperienced Experience of Created Objects, will be published by Intellect Books in 2015.

B O WA N G China Concerto (excerpt), 2012

All videos and film excerpts can be viewed at

An observational essay about images, representations, and performances in China’s contemporary spectacles, China Concerto was shot mostly in Chongqing during the peak of politician Bo Xilai’s controversial “red culture” campaign. Concealed beneath the veneer of capitalism, aspects of communist totalitarianism persist today, both in economy and ideology. Bo Wang is a visual artist based in Brooklyn. His works have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at Gallery 456 in New York and the Lianzhou Int’l Photo Festival in China, as well as group exhibitions at Times Art Museum in China, SP-Arte/Foto in Brazil, and DOB Gallery in Thailand. China Concerto is his first feature length film; it premiered in North America at MoMA’s 2013 Documentary Fortnight Festival, and in Europe at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. He received a fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2013, and is currently a research fellow at the Asia Society.


C H A R LOT T E C OT TO N WITH QUINN TIVEY As the fall 2013 semester came to a close Quinn Tivey had the opportunity to connect with Charlotte Cotton via Skype, in between when she was working on a new book and packing for a trip. During their virtual hang, they discussed Charlotte’s recent course “Photographic,” as well as her work and her thoughts on contemporary photography. Quinn Tivey: I’d like to start with a little bit about your course “Photographic” and some general thoughts on contemporary photography. I’m wondering if you might distill some of the core ideas that you covered in your class. Charlotte Cotton: What’s of interest to me is the opportunity to have a seminar group that goes on a journey with you–that it’s a discovery for me as well as for the students. I think that one of the greatest challenges for people going through a good MFA program is to try to comprehend how to position their own practice within a photographic ecology that is really diverse and, actually, empirically, very little of it is intended for the discourses of art. I’m interested in the idea of the role of the artist within this media ecology. And, of course, there are many answers. I thought that this would be a useful way of introducing students—participants—to theorizing around everything except photography as art, and just get a taste of the different pedagogies and the different theories that I think are in play in a very broad definition of photography in light of web 2.0. QT: Are there any new ideas or perspectives that the students brought to the table that you might not have expected? CC: I asked the class to provide one piece of writing by the end of the semester mind mapping a range of influences on their work, from other artists to kind of quotidian ideas about photography and theory. What I learned is that this approach can be taken in lots of different directions. I’m really delighted about how the students internalized and distilled ideas that maybe at the beginning of the course were unexpected to them. At a time when the media ecology is so changeable and diverse, the biggest questions that we have to ask ourselves is, “Do I want my own practice to be the fixed thing, do I want to create solidity at a very fluid moment, or do I want my practice to be very fluid?” These seem to be the central questions that came out of this last semester in response to the dynamic of the media ecology, the sort of photographic ecology in which we are working. Not that one way is good and one way is bad. QT: Following up on a question that you actually posed in Words Without Pictures, what do you see in store for photography? CC: A relationship with the future is quite a subjective thing. If I think about my own life, about the future and about the practical details of it, I’m reluctant to say that I have any real sense of what the future may bring. I don’t think it’s clear what we’ll be talking about and what we’ll consider important in five years. But the joy is


that you can have an existence right now. It’s a moment where photography is very present and there are lots of ideas at play. Of course that creates an issue for artists who render their works. How will that object read in a year or five? That’s why you’re seeing lots of artists taking on strategies that you could say are short-term or “dispersed” practices, to paraphrase Seth Price. An idea might manifest itself in a number of ways—is it a book, a conversation? Is it something online? Is it a physical rendering of an object? The form is full of active choices where there’s no default in an artistic practice. We’ve moved a million miles away from a requirement that photographers produce bodies of work—discrete bodies of work in particular edition sizes, and always with prints framed on walls. We’re seeing a much greater degree of experimentation with media “dispersed” modes, or projects that involve collaboration and shared authorship. It’s a terrifically exciting moment where lots of ideas are being generated and they’re not being generated in solidified forms.

QT: With the Internet fostering its own curatorial form, based on participation of social media, can we

prototyping, then it links it back into scientific experiments going back to the 17th-century and right through

expect to see a shift in the role of the modern curator?

to data visualization and animation.

CC: A curator, just like an artist, is an incredibly over-stretched term. At this particular juncture, curating has become two things for me. One is embodying what I believe about curating, which comes out of my back-

There’s so much material to work with as an artist right now and the history is as long and short as you want it

ground as a public servant within a national museum in the UK, which is that curating is about doing creative

to be. You can still say something really meaningful as a counterpoint to the quotidian use of images or the

stuff for other people. The second part, which I think reflects my age, is being more comfortable with the idea

societal use of images.

to provide entry points and discussions on behalf of other people. There are lots of things about curating that are really great—submerging yourself in creative culture from a position where you don’t have the kind of

QT: Are you seeing any interesting trends among your students, or among artists on gallery walls?

tyranny, or, indeed, the kind of satisfaction of creating works that have an undeniable single authorship to

CC: I know what’s interesting to me, which is artists—young or old—who are consciously using photography

them. It’s a middle role within culture. And that’s where I feel most comfortable thinking about curating: as

as a material, rather than as a discipline. It can be anything from using the photographic to be a device to

one where it’s quite a sophisticated relationship with your ego.

physically render a sculpture to using photography as the content of an algorithmically-rendered work of art that’s viewed on a tablet. We have reached the counterpoint and it’s already happening across the globe.

As I remember it, “sophisticated” comes from “sophistry,” which goes back to the Greeks and the idea that

You’re just as likely to see it in an undergrad course as you are in a really good gallery at the moment, which

being able to present a point of view, whether you hold that point of view or not. You could read that as a dis-

I think is another really interesting thing—that ideas and positions, or the pinpointing of what art can do in

ingenuous gesture, but I like that idea, when coupled with presenting on behalf of, and the idea that curating

this particular media ecology—can come pretty much from anywhere. I’m not saying that this is a totally

is a cultural exchange—that you’re doing things, creating things—for other people.

flattened hierarchy. We have a lot of challenges as a community given what’s happening to the market and the polarization of that. While that is a problem for people to have a long-term strategy of how they can be

QT: In September, Facebook claimed it gets 350 million new photos uploaded every day, and Yahoo

artists, there’s a lot of really interesting work being produced. We can look back at this work and say, “These

projects that in 2014, 880 billion photographs will be taken. In an assessment of contemporary photog-

were the pinpoints; these were the real and genuine elements of the discourse around photography as art

raphy (also in a sense related to curation), a question that comes to mind is how might we distinguish

at this particular moment.”

quality among such quantity? Should we be concerned with that sense of volume? CC: Let’s just deal with this idea of the image explosion. I was lucky enough to hear David Joselit talk about the

QT: You mentioned the quality of material that is not necessarily on gallery walls and that this in itself

idea of photography as “the many.” He related the kinds of influences and pressures on artists today as one

is interesting. I think this is a very interesting notion. Do you think that we are facing a crossroads that

that has a profound relationship with the early 20th-century avant-garde artists who were dealing with their

will produce dramatic changes for what the typical gallery model is and has been?

own image explosion, with the rise of photomechanical reproduction. So, in a general sense, the existential

CC: That’s a big question. But you know what’s happening—it’s that the market is polarized; it’s the blue chip

questioning that might be prompted in an artist, given the image explosion right now, is not particularly new

galleries that have a relationship with the secondary market who have monopolized the market. It leaves those

for modern and contemporary art.

galleries that have long-term relationships with living artists in a really difficult place right now. It means that the other end of the option is the DIY model for artists: curating shows using abandoned spaces or spaces

The other theory that I find really useful is from Julian Stallabrass’s essay “Sixty Billion Sunsets,” written in 1996.

that need to be gentrified to present work. Within that mix it’s really difficult to say what gallery experiences

In the essay Stallabrass creates a circle on which he positions four definitions of a photographer: the artist,

really provide us, or provide artists and audiences and enthusiasts in art. Often my experience of a gallery is

the amateur, the professional and the snapper. He describes how these terms move around. What would be

that I don’t know the rules of the game, because it doesn’t feel like there’s a default right now for what that

the four categories that you’d put onto the wheel for right now? I don’t think you’d have the snapper. You’d

experience will be. Of course, that in itself generates interesting work to a certain point. But this can’t be the

probably have the camera or the web as a really important author, probably the most important author of

end game of what the gallery means and what the industry of art really needs to be in order to be more artist-

photography. Which doesn’t mean that artists have to become absorbed in that, but their position on this

centered. At the moment it just doesn’t feel like it’s really there for artists, which is a problem.

wheel shifts. Another relationship, between curating and being an artist, is to offer counterpoints or counter arguments to the received wisdom or idiocy of image culture. That’s not necessarily a critique of the web, but

QT: Could you give an example of how the industry of art is not artist-centered?

it means that your practice has to be something that is clearly not simply just kidding itself that it’s authoring

CC: In a broad, polarized sense, you’ve got a very corporate model for museums and limits to the list of artists

new ideas and creative ideas by using the technologies of now, given that the camera and tech and software

that they can really work with. It distorts what living, breathing practice and theory of art actually are right

are authors of images in their own right.

now. Given that the practice and theory of photography is in this really interesting experiment and dispersed moment—where an artist might produce a project online, maybe produce some things for galleries, organize

QT: I was just thinking about something that’s heavily “new-technology” dependent: The “photographs”

live events, maybe curate things, write things—I don’t think the gallery system at the moment has a way of

of SVA undergrad Fernando Pereira Gomes that he took while walking through the virtual landscape of

satisfactorily recognizing the extent of contemporary photographic ideas.

GTA 5. They challenge the notion of what is actually a photograph. You mentioned the use of automated cameras and the Internet, but we also have these virtual landscapes that are entirely created out of fantasy but can serve the photographic practice. CC: Yes, and in a way that can lead to a very exciting recalibration of the history of photography. I think we

Charlotte Cotton is a curator and writer. She has worked as the head of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Curator of photographs at the Victoria and Albert

are beginning to see that with the fascination of, say, 19th-century scientific photography, for example. But

Museum, and as the head of programming at The Photographer’s Gallery in London. She has authored The

if you think of photography as coming within a much larger history of prototyping and modeling, and what

Photograph as Contemporary Art and Imperfect Beauty, founded Words Without Pictures and

we’ve always loved to say about photography—that it’s seeing something that’s impossible to see without the

She is working on two new books titled Photography is Magic! and Photographic.

camera—it is essentially, inherently, an abstraction or a virtual experience. Quinn Tivey is a MFA student in the Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA. He received And I’m sure we’ll see more and more of that. I call it the “photographic.” I don’t call it photography now. Interest-

his BA in film production at the University of Southern California in 2008. Before pursuing his MFA, he worked in

ingly, I’m struggling this morning with a piece of writing because I know that I’m using a term that hasn’t really

film and as a fashion photographer.

declared itself yet. But to think of the photographic mode as being part of the longer history of modeling and



Shimon Attie, the 2013 recipient of the Lee Krasner Award for Lifetime Achievement in Art, has recently returned to NYC after several months in Israel on an International Artist Residency Award from Artport Tel Aviv. In February, he joined the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia as a visiting artist.

Liz Deschenes has produced a new body of work for the Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis for exhibition Oct. 23, 2014 – Apr. 12, 2015. This will be her first solo presentation at an American museum.

Rich Leslie participated as a panelist for “How Technology, Science, and Art Are Changing Our Perception of Time,” part of the ArcheTime Project, at Central Booking, NYC, March 2014. He is also an organizer for the BioPower panel at the BioArt conference, scheduled for November 2014 at SVA. His upcoming publication, Street Art Culture: Tat’s Cru and the South Bronx, will be released in 2015.

Andrew L. Moore’s Dirt Meridian was exhibited at the Yancey Richardson Gallery in Jan. 2014. An exhibition of his recent work from Cuba was also shown at Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles this past January. In February 2014, Video Data Bank released a box set publication of four videos by 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Laura Parnes. It includes a 44-page monograph with and essay by Chris Kraus.


Lyle Rexer recently returned from

June Korea (2015), a recipient of the

John Cyr’s (2010) first monograph,

lecturing and teaching at Aalto University in Helsinki, and chairing the panel “In Transition: Thinking About Photography” in Berlin at the C/O Berlin Foundation. He will next lead a panel discussion at AIPAD on Apr. 12, 2014, titled, “The Deciders: Curating Photography.” From May 6 – 7, he will serve as a guest professor in the MFA critique at the Art Institute of Boston of Leslie University.

2013 Alice Beck-Odette Scholarship, exhibited his series, As I slept, I left my camera over there, at Jam Industries in Nottingham, U.K., Oct. 14 – Oct. 21, 2013. The show then traveled to Cube Gallery at Museum of Seongnam Arts Center in Korea, Space Gallery in Pomona, CA, Space Womb Gallery in New York, and will make a stop at Gallery Korea in New York, in 2014.

Developer Trays, will be published by powerHouse Books in spring 2014, with a release and reception on March 18. The event included a discussion between Cyr and Lyle Rexer, the author of the book’s accompanying essay. Cyr is also pleased to be included in The Photographer’s Playbook, an upcoming Aperture release edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern.

Steel Stillman is an artist and writer,

Yasmine Laraqui (2014) exhibited work

Catherine Del Buono (2008) is the 2013

in “Art With A Manifest: Round Hole, Square Peg” at Photo LA 2014 Jan. 16 – 19, with an additional 5-week run at the Artists Corner Gallery in Hollywood. She curated and show works in the Marrakech Biennale, Feb. 26 – Mar. 31, 2014.

winner of the Baang & Burne Contemporary New Works Grant. The grant will be used to create a multimedia installation on the topic of domestic violence, which will premiere in October 2014. Her first solo installation, “Next Stop Wynwood,” was shown at The Art Place Wynwood in Miami, FL from Nov. 1 – 15, 2013. The show featured video portraits, projections, and photographs of New York City subway riders.

and a contributing editor of Art in America, where his interview with photographer Erica Baum appeared in October 2013. In the spring of 2014, his artwork will be featured in “Minimal Baroque” at Rønnebæksholm, in Naestved, Denmark, and in a solo exhibition at Show Room, in Brooklyn. The 35th Anniversary edition of the Millennium Film Journal, edited by Grahame Weinbren, was celebrated with a special screening at the Museum of Modern Art on Dec. 2, 2013.

Randy West recently completed his architecture collaboration 43/45 Brooks with architect Lawrence Scarpa and the Venice Collaborative in Venice, CA. The project is a set of two-story sliding stainless steel screens fabricated by laser cutting a dot pattern made from photographic images of clouds.

CURRENT STUDENTS Christina Arza’s (2015) work was

exhibited at the 2013 “WAH Bridges Bushwick” show at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center from Nov. 8 – Dec. 1, 2013.

Jesse Chun’s (2014) series On Paper was recently exhibited at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Jan. 9 – Feb. 1, 2014. Her series Corners will be part of a 2014 group exhibition at Gallery Korea New York, curated by Korean Cultural Services of New York.

Yoav Friedländer’s (2014) series A Form of View was recently exhibited at the 2014 Düsseldorf Photo Weekend in Düsseldorf, Germany. A Form of View will also be projected at the Carmel Winery in Rishon LeZion, Israel, as part of the 2014 International Photography Festival, starting Apr. 5, 2014.

Gustavo Murillo (2015), 2012 recipient of the La Caixa Foundation Fellowship, had his series, BBC Lund Point, published in the 2013 Flash Forward Festival Catalogue at Neubacher Shor Contemporary in Toronto. This publication includes the winners of the 2013 Magenta Foundation Emerging Photographers award.


Anna Beeke (2013), a recipient of the 2013 Magenta Flash Forward award, exhibited her Sylvania series in the 3-person exhibition “Clouded Presence” at Gallery Ho in Chelsea, Dec. 5, 2013 – Jan. 18, 2014. An artist talk was held at the Gallery on Jan. 18th. Sylvania will also be part of the Flash Forward international traveling exhibition in 2014, including a stop in Boston, MA, in the spring.

Clayton Cotterell (2008), following the 2013 solo exhibition of his series Arrangements at Ampersand Gallery in Portland, OR, will publish a monograph of the work, with an expected release in summer 2014.

Jade Doskow (2008) was recently featured in American Photo’s One to Watch section of the Nov.-Dec. 2013 issue, as well as the Fall 2013 issue of Preservation magazine. Jade teaches architectural photography at SVA, digital photography at the City University of New York, and continues to work on her long-term photographic project of the remaining utopian architecture of world’s fairs.

Maureen Drennan (2009) just returned from an artist residency at the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR and will be part of an artists-in-residence exhibit there in March 2014. Her work recently appeared in a public exhibit through Artbridge on the construction surrounding the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the group exhibit “Another New York” and included photographs from her series on Broad Channel. She was also featured in the group show “Early Works,” at the Rayko Center for Photography in San Francisco last fall, and an image from her series Meet Me In The Green Glen was published in The New Yorker. Maureen was interviewed and featured on the Camera Club of New York’s photo blog in October, 2013, and currently teaches photography and photo history at the City University of New York.

Lisa Fairstein (2012) is the recipient of

Erin Gleeson’s (2007) cookbook, The

a 2013 Swing Space Artist Residency, made possible by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. While in residence, Fairstein will more deeply explore her approach to image-making, creating unsettling, believable un/realities.

Forest Feast will be published by Abrams on April 15, 2014.The book is a unique blend of art book and cookbook, featuring 100 photographed recipes laid out in a visual format with minimal text, accompanied by Gleeson’s watercolor illustrations. Signings will be held in San Francisco and New York in April and May.

Sarina Finkelstein (2004) will be releasing her first monograph, The New Forty-Niners: Modern-Day Gold Prospectors in California, with Kehrer Verlag in May 2014. A solo exhibition will be held at Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco May 8–Jun 21, with a book signing at the opening reception.

Mariam Ghani (2002) is the 2013-14 artist in residence at the Asian Pacific American Institute at NYU, where her collaborative project Index of the Disappeared will be in exhibitions opening Feb. 13 and Apr. 18, 2014, and a conference on Apr. 11-12. Her retrospective “It Could Go Either Way” opens in May at the Rogaland Kunstsenter in Norway. She writes for Ibraaz, Triple Canopy and Creative Time Reports, and teaches at Pratt.

Alexander Heilner, (1998) the 2012 winner of the Baker Artist Prize, was recently exhibited in a solo show, Alexander Heilner: Aerial Landscapes, at WorkSpace in Lincoln, NE. His work is currently part of American Photography Today at Center for the Arts Gallery in Towson, MD, through Apr. 5, and through Mar. 16 in Look Now! at Maryland Institute College of Art, where he teaches photography and serves as the school’s Associate Dean of Design and Media. He moderated the panel “Teaching Collaboration: What Photography Can Learn from Other Media” at the Society for Photographic Education’s 2014 National Conference.

Johanna Heldebro (2009) is currently artist in residence at the Helsinki International Artist Programme in Finland, where she will complete her most recent series, White Death. Johanna is the recipient of project and residency grant support from Arts Nova Scotia, Canada Council of the Arts and IASPIS (Sweden) for this work. An artist talk and open studio event was held at the HIAP studios in the Cable Factory, Helsinki on Jan. 22, 2014.

FAC U LT Y S T U D EN T A LU M N I N E WS CO N T I N U ED Allison Kaufman’s (2008) solo show,

Reynold Reynolds (1995) is the 2013-14

Daniel Traub (1998) recently com-

“Amplified Stages,” will be on view at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT from Mar. 13 – Jun. 8, 2014. The exhibition is part of Step Up 2013, a series of six solo exhibitions open to emerging artists living in New York, New Jersey or New England.

recipient of the Rome Prize, an American award made annually by the American Academy in Rome. The prize includes a fellowship with a stipend, a studio, and room and board for a period of one year at the Academy.

Reiner Leist’s (1996) books and proj-

2013 Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, showed her series Scavenger at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland OR, Dec. 6, 2013 – Feb. 2, 2014. The show travels to RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco May 9 – Jun. 21, 2014 and then to The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins CO.

pleted a feature length documentary film, The Barefoot Artist, co-directed with Glenn Holsten. The film premiered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in summer 2013 and has appeared in festivals throughout 2013, including the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Carmel, CA. His book, NORTH PHILADELPHIA, will be published by Kehrer Verlag in September 2014.

ects exhibited internationally include South Africa: Blue Portraits (Nazraeli Press, 1993), American Portraits (Prestel, 2001) and Window: Eleven Septembers (Prestel, 2006). His new book, ANOTHER COUNTRY South Africa New Portraits, has been announced for publication by Kehrer in the fall of 2014. Currently an associate professor of art at the City University of New York’s Hunter College, he taught in the Visual Arts Program at MIT from 2000 until 2003.

John Messinger (2010), a 2013 Artist in Residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, was featured in Art In America and Photograph Magazine in 2013. His latest series, Facebook Makes Us Lonely, will be on display during a solo exhibition at Unix Gallery in Chelsea, Sept. 10 – Oct. 21, 2014.

Meggie Miao (2006), a producer for CBS Sunday Morning, won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Morning Program.

Jessica Miller (2012) is currently on the faculty at Parsons The New School for Design and Montclair State University.

David Rapoport’s (2009) interview film, Charles Traub: Seeing Things Differently, was featured Sept. – Nov. 2013 on The film is the first chapter of a 3-part series.

Jenny Riffle (2011), a recipient of the

Lynn Shelton’s (1995) feature film, Laggies, starring Kiera Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Sam Rockwell, was chosen for national distribution after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It is expected to premiere nationwide in summer 2014.

Stephen Sollins’ (1997) Piecework series was exhibited in “alt_quilt,” a 3-person show of contemporary art and quilts from the collection at The American Folk Art Museum in New York, Oct. 1, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014, with an artist’s talk on Dec. 12 at 6pm. Piecework also appeared in the group show, “L’Objet Trouve: Readymade, Rectified and Reassembled,” Nov. 14 – Dec. 21, 2013. His work is now represented in New York by the Pavel Zoubok Gallery, which held a solo exhibition of Piecework February 13 - March 15, 2014. An article about Piecework appeared in the January 2014 issue of Surface Design Journal. In addition, some of Sollins’ work will appear in the group show “Creativity At Work” at Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Idaho, Feb. – May 24, 2014.

Benz Thanachart’s (2013) thesis film, The Words I Love, was an official selection at the 2013 Portland Film Festival, 2013 Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in Chagrin Falls, OH, 2013 International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, and the 2013 Glovebox Film and Animation Festival in Boston.

Lorenzo Triburgo (2005) has recently begun his new position as full-time instructor of Photography at Oregon State University.

Raul Valverde (2011) will participate in the First International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, Feb. 7 – Apr. 7, 2014, as well as in the FAAP Artistic Residency in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bo Wang’s (2011) essay film China Concerto had its European premiere at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Nov. 7 – 17, 2013. China Concerto has been under distribution of Icarus Films since Sept. 2013.

Amani Willett’s (2012) first book, Disquiet, was published by Damiani in June 2013. He held a lecture and conversation with Marvin Heiferman about the book at the Camera Club of New York on Nov. 6, 2013.

Edie Winograde’s (1995) solo exhibition, “Sight Seen” was on view at the Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, Oct. 18 – Nov. 17, 2013, with an opening reception on Oct. 18, and an artist’s talk on Nov. 17. Selections from both “Sight Seen” and her exhibition “Place and Time: Reenactment Pageant Photographs” were on view at the Goodstein Gallery in Casper, WY Jan. 21 – Feb. 13, 2014, with an artist’s talk on Feb. 6.

JeongMee Yoon’s (2006) show, “You will have better day,” was exhibited from Dec. 16 – 24, 2013 at Gallery Dam in Seoul.

2014 Summer Residencies


Reading and writing alone no longer define 21stcentury literacy in a world where image, data and language are intertwined and of equal importance. For the first time, the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA will gather a diverse group of people from across disciplines for an intensive summer forum to rethink what constitutes literacy in our time. Over the course of the program, participants will engage in intensive workshops and presentation by leaders in the fields of visual culture, social media, education, art, science and history. The goal is to engage participants in understanding and re-imagining new possibilities for teaching, learning and expression through images and the technologies of image-making. The program kicks off with an eminent keynote speaker. Throughout the week, participants will meet with lecturers and panelists for evening discussions and seminars. Topics include: the history and meaning of visual literacy, the diverse roles the lens arts play within society, the role of images in social media, curriculum development for K-12 students and how visual literacy can be taught with readily available and inexpensive technology. At the conclusion of the program, participants will present their own research and findings for promoting visual learning in their respective fields.

June 2 – June 28

The moving image is a ubiquitous language today. The contemporary artist should no longer ignore the power and pervasiveness of video. This is especially true of the still photographer. Still and moving imagery may be produced with the same set of tools, yet each requires very different approaches and practices. True understanding of the moving image language is fostered through the focused study and dedicated production of video works. This four-week engagement, led by senior faculty members of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA, will immerse participants in all areas of video. The residency will provide a highly charged atmosphere in which talents participate in productive dialogue and collaborations, culminating in a final project. Initial sessions will alternate practical studio lab and on-location production. Postproduction editing with Premiere and file management will follow, and we will examine current modes of exhibition and distribution. Practical workshops will be augmented by two seminars exploring the history, theory and conceptual issues that characterize the divergences in the production practices of the still and moving image. Critiques of works in-progress as well as screenings of films and visits to studios, galleries and museums will complement the coursework. The goal of the program is for residents to develop their own projects and realize a personal vision in this lens-arts hybrid.

For further information contact Keren Moscovitch, assistant director, special programs, Division of Continuing Education, via email:; phone: 212.592.2188; fax: 212.592.2060.




SVA MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department

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