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all the b e s t,


S c hool of vis u al A r t s mfa P ho t o g raphy , V id e o a n d R e la t e d M e dia

Who is Alice, you say? You don’t think you know her, but you do. Her fingerprints are all over this publication. In 1959 Alice Beck-Odette began teaching at the School of Visual Arts and for twenty-five years she chaired the undergraduate Photography Department. She may have retired after 50 years of teaching, but it doesn’t mean we don’t still get the occasional visit, free advice and lunch date at the Lyric Diner. While she influenced everything photo-related at SVA, her presence is especially felt in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department. Our lounge even features a picture of her from the early ‘70s along with the quote, “It’s never too late to be a virgin.” Rumor has it she was redecorating her bedroom with all white objects and the phrase stuck. Wise but cheeky words to live by for an artist. With this publication, we wish Alice all the best; she’ll always expect the same from us.

t h e sis pro j e c t spo t li g h t

Gracie Nesin Amani Willett Pacifico Silano

In the beginning of the final year, students write a thesis proposal, which outlines the concepts, form and context of their projects. At its heart, a thesis proposal also illuminates the student’s artistic and personal motivations for making the work. We have selected excerpts from three different proposals that offer a glimpse into the diversity of work being made in the department.

Gracie Nesin  Class of 2012 video still

Gracie Nesin  class of 2012 Thesis excerpt

White Witch/ Bluff City My performative voice, pluralized over and alongside itself—reciting poems, telling stories, laughing, singing and rapping—in combination with re-recorded and manipulated passages from pop songs or teleplays and my own synthetic compositions are bricolaged with hazy, painterly footage filtered with Vaseline, breath and cellophane, rhythmic scrolls through still photographs like unpeopled interiors and exteriors, roads, bridges, tunnels, found and built instances of text and text documents, Google Image and Google Street View screenshots, re-filmed segments from film and television, my own drawings and cut paper collages and wholly abstract compositions, all—both sounds and images—often mirrored, obscured, oddly vignetted. •

I am always trying the seam between control and its loss, tracing those anxietites or those drug-states or dream-states that mass there.

I am always addressing the audience with a kind of obvious question about the imaging and the placement and consumption of women.

I am always discussing a kind of resultant, reflexive sexuality, an erotic self-absorption.

I am always putting forth a baby-voiced flirtation with violence, evil, lostness and powerlessness, tracing the classic Gothic dissonance and harmony between girls and monsters. There are layers (repetitions) of Rape and Terror Allegory, rape mythology (those glamorous Zeus rapes…..The Annunciation).

I am always trying the seam between Empire and Post-Empire, describing the process of the last decade (between September 11th and the failure of the banks), and looking back toward the 20th century, sometimes toward the Gilded Age, and sometimes toward the Old World of the 18th and 19th centuries.

I am always, even with/through any Old World references, making about America, about my journeys from North to South to North to South, the Death of Empire, lifestyle and Hollywood, and invisible money and invisible menace and dreams-through things, pictured-things and bodies;

I am always making about my powerful, empathic love for my country, criminal and gorgeous as any other—sometimes more so?

I am always lamenting fixedness.

I am always making about houses and spirits, the times I was home and times I was not.

I am always making about emotional imprints on objects and spaces over and through (in and out of) time; spirits affect me as the living do.

I am always being operatic.

I am always abstracting, fragmenting and mystifying, softening, thickening (making viscous—like ghosts do the air).

gracie nesin class of 2012 video stills

gracie nesin class of 2012 video stills

Amani Willett  class of 2012 Thesis excerpt

The O f f - S e a so n I’m obsessed with baseball. I grew up in the Boston area, which means—as others from the area will attest—I am a rabid Red Sox fan. The season just ended in collapse, again. It’s now officially the off-season. Gone is the hype, the hope, the box scores. Gone is the sense of rhythm, flow and normalcy that comes with the everyday, habitual nature of baseball. I feel similarly about the current American moment—something is just not right. There are many contributing factors to this sense, some small and inconsequential—80 degree days and snowstorms in October—others are larger and more ominous, such as the political incompetence that has spread over Washington. Last summer I became a father. It’s as amazing as it is hard. But more than anything else, I’ve noticed that it’s both clarified and magnified that which already defined me. Now I don’t just worry about my life, I worry about my son’s life and my family’s life. This would be a “normal” reaction to becoming a parent under “normal” circumstances. But I feel that we are living in extraordinary times. There is something fuzzy, something hazy, buzzing around the present American (and global) moment—an impenetrable cloud blanketing the current American psyche. I believe we are living in an age of profound societal dysfunction. We have lost our way because of numerous and complex reasons: economic stagnation, fear and warmongering, loss of true leadership, climate change, political dysfunction, technological advances meant to connect us that have paradoxically disconnected us, and lack of moral clarity, among others. This reality affects all of my relationships from the most intimate to the more superficial. I can’t help but feel that if we are unable to address some of our most pressing social issues in a timely manner, a once-assumed-essential American identity (including our world standing) may be lost for a generation and maybe forever. So this is why I worry. I worry for my world, the world my son will inherit, and for humanity as a whole. Sometimes these realities fill me with cynicism, making me believe there is nothing I can do to alter the course of things. It is in these moments that I instinctually grab my camera and begin to intuitively make images. This off-season, I’ve been wandering, exploring the current social climate, and slowly extracting pieces of information. Through this process, I hope to gain insight into our current condition. Photographing in this manner acts as the perfect antidote for feelings of being unable to instill change, as there is a satisfaction that comes from being able to exact control through photographing—something that we often do not have over our own lives. In baseball, even if the season ends in disappointment, there is always hope that, come spring, your team will get another chance. I feel similarly about the current American moment. While much of what I see and feel is filled with an undeniable degree of pessimism, there is also a subtle optimism hovering just around the corner.

amani willett class of 2012

amani willett class of 2012

Pacifico Silano  class of 2012 Thesis excerpt

Where The Boys Are In 2011, with the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and the landmark decision to legalize same sex marriage in New York State, I found myself looking to the past to explore the history of the LGBT community. I focused my attention on the 30 years leading up to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. My fascination with the visual aesthetics of gay men who lived during this time has something to do with an idealized sense of masculinity that I have seen portrayed in films, photography, pornography and the drawings of Tom of Finland. The “rugged” gay man has become a fabled character. I continue to find myself compelled by the cultural identity of this period, a time which I did not live through. Born in 1986, I have always lived in a world where AIDS has existed. In my earliest memories, I can recall adults telling me that all gay men would eventually die from this pandemic. For quite some time I equated sexual freedom with deadly consequence. My uncle died from complications of AIDS in1989. I think about what life must have been like for him before he contracted HIV. I’m curious as to how he dressed, the places he and his lovers frequented and what he thought about his position in the world. I will never hear the answers in his own words. Instead I make photographs and video art that are partly a response to the unanswered. The main component of my thesis is a short, black-and-white, Super 8 film titled Where the Boys Are. It was made as homage to Kenneth Anger’s film Scorpio Rising. Anger’s use of music, humor and male sexuality have always been of great interest to me. I chose to reference nostalgia through wardrobe and a soundtrack by 1950s camp icon, Connie Francis. While Francis sings “Where The Boys Are,” the camera follows a man as he makes his way through the infamous cruising grounds of Fire Island known as “The Meat Rack.” Consciously aware of the camera, the man on film performs and explores parts of these wooded areas. This piece is my love letter to the past, a valentine to an entire generation cut down by AIDS.

pacifico silano class of 2012

pacifico silano class of 2012 Left: video still

c ri t i q u e

Critique is the process of examining, deliberating and scrutinizing ideas. It is the place to play, to expect failure, to solve a problem. The reward is in making the choice to enter the discussion. What does the work offer the viewer? Why should anyone care? Students quickly discover there are no clear answers to these questions. There are no rules; no written tests to pass. There is only history to frame the engagement. A leap of faith is needed as there is no compass—there is only the possibility of landing in new territory.

Jessica Miller class of 2012

Heidi Zito class of 2012

Amy Davis class of 2014

Amy Davis class of 2014

Christopher Hunt class of 2014

David Brown class of 2013

TENJONAME, The Ceiling-Licking Spirit Elli Chung class of 2012

KAWA USO, A Supernatural River Otter

MIAGE NYUDO, A Spirit that Grows as Fast as You Can Look Up at It

Elli Chung class of 2012

Elli Chung class of 2012

RAIJU, A Beast That Falls to Earth in a Lightning Bolt Elli Chung class of 2012

UMI NYOBO, A Female Sea Monster Who Steals Fish Elli Chung class of 2012

video stills

Lewis Smithingham class of 2012

Jessica Bandy class of 2013

Hilary Basing class of 2013 video stills

Niko Kallianiotis class of 2013

Phillip Mansfield class of 2012 video stills

Phoebe Streblow class of 2012

Rachel Styer class of 2012

Ryan Koopmans class of 2012

Ryan Koopmans class of 2012

Shiyuan Liu class of 2012

Sinan Tuncay class of 2013

Travis Brown class of 2012

Yael Eban class of 2014

Ahrong Han class of 2013

You know that feeling when you’re on a plane and it makes a sudden dip and you feel weightless, and in that instant your thoughts go to sitting on the tarmac at Denver International staring out the window at the guys de-icing the plane, and that guy you knew who worked at the airport 60 hours a week but was a raging alcoholic and did everything he could not to work, and that every other flight that night had been canceled due to weather, and the two hours you sat on the ground as it was sleeting out before they said fuck it and took off anyways. And just like that, it’s over, the rush of disappointment sets in, and shame because all you wanted was to keep going and nosedive in to nothingness. Fuck everyone else. This was supposed to be your time; you were ready to let go. You open your mouth to scream and all that comes out is a breathy whimper…. The seat belt sign goes off and you head to the bathroom where a fist full of stolen nippers will wash the chalky bitterness of Vicodin off your tongue. The plane jolts again and all you can do is giggle, a small almost girlish giggle that you force out in spite of yourself and only for an audience of one, two if you count that guy in the mirror. You stumble back to your seat and squeeze past the guy who is desperately clutching a scrap of paper and intensely starring at nothing. Your last thought as the cabin pressure forces substances into your system at an alarming rate is, “I hope I don’t wake up in Connecticut.”

Andrew Harrington class of 2014

al u m n i spo t li g h t

– Bonnie Yochelson, art historian and independent curator

cliché. That is his remarkable accomplishment.

took to school every day—Liao invented a way to picture New York that is uniquely his own. He can now take on iconic New York without lapsing into

“And 57th Street between Madison and Fifth—the jewelry stores look like jewel boxes.” Beginning with the prosaic New York he knew best—the subway line he

At the Seaport Museum opening, Liao explained that he was seeing the super-size print for the first time. “I’ve done the other side of the street,” he added.

technique to the epic scale and minute detail that is seen in 42nd Street.

he began working in Coney Island, Brooklyn, and planning a Staten Island project. Expanding his reach into New York’s five boroughs, Liao has refined his

the construction of Citi Field, its replacement. In 2009, the Bronx Museum of the Arts commissioned him to document the Grand Concourse, and in 2010,

Liao continued to develop his method in Depth of Fields (2007–2009), which documented the demolition of Shea Stadium, home of his beloved Mets, and

was published as a large-format monograph by Nazraeli Press. It also attracted the eye of Julie Saul, an experienced art dealer, who represents Liao.

immediate attention: it won the first New York Times Magazine “Capture the Times” photography contest, was exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art, and

ground through diverse Queens neighborhoods before tunneling under the East River to arrive at Times Square in Manhattan. The project garnered

A graduate of SVA’s MFA program, Liao first developed this technique for his thesis project, Habitat 7, which documents the 7 subway line traveling above

four hour period, Liao used Photoshop to combine 200 to 300 digital files to produce his bravura view.

crystal clear. Like a Chinese scroll, the photograph combines several perspectives in a single image. Photographing from multiple locations over a three to

the actual site. And yet Liao provides a view that no visitor could ever see: a full city block from sidewalk to skyscraper pinnacle, every detail of which is

Seventh and Eighth Avenues is a showstopper. In the Museum’s intimate galleries, it is huge and noisy, successfully invoking the hallucinatory experience of

At the recently reopened Seaport Museum New York, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao’s 5 x 16 ½ foot panoramic print of the south side of 42nd Street between

42nd Street

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao  alumnus 2005

Jeff Laio alumnus 2005

Sean Hanratty alumnus 2009

Sean Hanratty  alumnus 2009 Dongxi (东西) When I first got to Shanghai, the thing I couldn’t get over was the sheer number of people. Shanghai has a population of 23 million—enough that when I went back to visit New York a year later, even Penn Station seemed quite empty. I arrived a few months after graduating from SVA, and have been here more than two years now. During my two years at SVA, I was exposed to quite a few different photographers working in China. I think studying these photographs not only piqued my interest in the changes taking place here but also planted in my head an image of China that was up-to-date. I wasn’t expecting as much in the way of temples and Mao suits as 12-lane expressways and 40-storey apartments popping up overnight. Even still, coming to China and seeing with my own eyes its rapid, wide-ranging transformation has been quite astounding. Shanghai can be such an assault on the senses that I needed a way to break it down and try to make sense of the city, piece by piece. Eventually I came to my current project which I’ve called Dongxi (东西). Dong literally translates to east and xi means west, but used together it means “stuff.” I think it’s one of the most evocative ways to say “stuff” I’ve ever heard. Shanghai, with so many people, contains a lot of stuff, and now with an expanding consumer base, the amount and variety will only continue to grow. On nights that I photograph, I choose a subject to shoot— say watermelons or security cameras—and then I bike around the city in search of different manifestations of the subject. Hopefully after some time I will have a catalogue of Shanghai’s stuff.

Being Human 2012 A conversation between Mark Stafford and Paul Pangaro Paul Pangaro and Mark Stafford first met in 1998 at the “Being Human” colloquium held at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. This was the culmination of a research project initiated by faculty member Paola Mieli, founder of Après-Coup Psychoanalytic Association and French psychoanalyst Serge Leclaire. Charles Traub has long been a supporter of Après-Coup and was both a participant and key organizer of this event in which scientists, technologists and psychoanalysts attempted to take stock of the information revolution and its effect on human subjectivity. Mark Stafford: Has there been a tempering of hysteria about information technology in the new millennium?

Paul Pangaro: I don’t think of it as hysteria so much as childlike wonder. What excites us about technology comes in two flavors: the novelty of cool, shiny objects, which is about human desire, and the hope of living better, which is about human needs. So far, information technology has afforded us amazing extensions of our nervous systems, to sense and act at greater distances. But this is only a beginning.

What skills and resources are needed

Information technology has led to a new array

sentence. Put together “we” and “want.” How can

by young people to navigate the new

of activities by designers as well as interest in

we come to agree on our purpose and goals?

information age?

the art world—what do you see as differences

The iPhone is ready to help us synchronize our

We all hear the cliché about getting used

in those practices?

actions, but its “apps” do not efficiently support

to change because it’s the only constant.

I believe that design is a process whereby

our ethical synchronization of goals.

I believe that bringing everyone—not just

an observation that something can be

young people, but all of us who live together

improved becomes an impetus to make that

A technology instrumented for conversation

in a social matrix of beliefs and mores—a

improvement. In other words, to design is to act

is my current project, a new venture with that

deeper awareness of how we can synchronize

in order to fulfill a purpose. In contrast, I believe

vision. Without conversation, neither “we” nor

better. Now, by synchronize I do not mean

that art is a process whereby an impetus to

shared “wants” are possible. The role of design,

“like clockwork” or “cogs in a machine;” this is

do something new becomes an expression

art, entrepreneurship, education, science....

precisely the Newtonian metaphor we must

of human experience. To act, in order to be

these are indisputable but we can’t know

move away from. I mean synchronize in the

novel. Any material or immaterial form can be

which ones must change to be useful. I know of

sense of coordinate our goals and actions

a canvas for design or for art. Constraints of

no other prescription for a better world, in the

to get what we want, as individuals, families,

form are generative in both art and design, but

context of massive economic, technological,

teams, organizations and societies—but all in

the justification for the path, from constraints to

political, social and environmental disruption: we

consonance. Since conversation is the ethical

outcome, is different. In design, the path requires

must better understand, and fully instrument our

means to synchronization, I believe that an

a rationale, for the outcome serves many. In art,

technologies, for conversation.

understanding, both theoretical and practical, of

there is no need for a rationale, for the outcome

the modes and means of effective conversation

need serve only one, the artist herself.

is necessary.

Paul Pangaro is a software designer, performer What kinds of projects are you currently

and entrepreneur. In SVA’s Interaction Design

Do you have concerns about the rapidity with

interested in, and what inspires your plans

program he teaches a course on the cybernet-

which a member of modern society is expect-

for the future?

ics of design, co-developed and co-taught with

ed to respond and consent to the demands of

The hysteria of technology around the

information technology? For example the way

Hugh Dubberly at Stanford University for six years.

millennium has lacked a vision that goes

in which it affects the experience of privacy?

His new venture develops conversation software

beyond what we had at the dawn of computers.

Of course, yes. While demands feel like they

to increase velocity of insight and reliability of

What has changed is primarily the expression

come from the outside, they are created by


of its delivery. Steve Jobs did this for consumer

each of us internally. We can learn the ability

electronics, including computers and whole new

to respond as we want, not as we feel the

Mark Stafford is a psychoanalyst and adjunct

categories of devices, just as Dieter Rams did

anonymous “others” want, from social pressure.

faculty member at SVA, in both the undergradu-

it for industrial design in a prior era. I value this

Humberto Maturana says this beautifully when

ate Humanities and Sciences Department and

greatly, because it improves our daily life; but I

he says, “It is not technology that guides modern

the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media

want something more, much more.

Department, where has taught a course on

life, but the emotions, that is, the desires of power,

technology, psychoanalysis and philosophy for

riches, or fame… under which we use or invent

The iPhone is the dawn of new age, with this

it.” He goes on to explain how we can become

most beautiful extension of our nervous system,

responsible for our own design of our world,

helping us to get what we want. But: what do we

using the term “metadesign.”

want? Please don’t skip over the words of that

the last ten years.

Fac u lt y Student Alumni N e ws

F a c u lt y Suzanne Anker recently curated the show “Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self,” at William Paterson University Art Galleries. Shimon Attie led the cross-disciplinary speaker series, “Memory and Commemoration, as Fact or Fiction,” this spring at Syracuse University. His current projects include artwork for a permanent memorial for San Francisco police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Adam Bell’s recent reviews have appeared in photo-eye, Ahorn, and The Brooklyn Rail. He has an upcoming essay on Christian Patterson’s work Redheaded Peckerwood in the upcoming spring issue of Foam magazine. This summer he presented at the Visual Studies Workshop’s 2012 Photo-Bookworks Symposium.

Elinor Carucci was featured in the AIPAD Photography Show as part of the Sasha Wolf Gallery exhibit.

Sarah Charlesworth had work featured in “Sun Works” at Berkeley Art Museum, “CIRCA 1986: The ‘80s from Six Important New York Art Collections,” at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and “The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1992,” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Liz Deschenes had photographs featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial and “Notations: Under the Influence of John Cage,” at Hunter College Art Gallery. Marvin Heiferman’s new book, Photography Changes Everything, a provocative and interdisciplinary rethinking of photography’s impact on our culture and daily life, was published by Aperture in May 2012.

Michelle Leftheris recently curated the video program “Exceedingly Feminine” at Vaudeville Park, a non-profit New York Foundation for the Arts. Richard Leslie has recently assumed temporary editorship of the small journal Art Criticism. Two of his reviews (Jarbas Lopes in 2008 and Damián Ortega in 2009) were anthologized in the book ArtNexus Brasil en Colombia, published December 2011, which celebrates connections among Latin American artists. His commentary on Carlito Carvalhosa’s recent installation at the MoMA was moved to feature position in the December issue of Art Nexus. Those touring Art Basel Miami Beach heard his voice and writing on their tour headphones—a commissioned project.

Andrew Moore recently had a solo exhibition, “Making History,” at Indiana State University.

Students Ania Moussawel (2012) has been selected to participate in the group exhibition, “Re-Framing the Feminine,” which includes photography by Vera Lutter, Tina Barney, Diane Arbus, and other female photographers. The exhibition will be on view at the Girls’ Club Collection in Ft. Lauderdale, FL through September 30, 2012.

Lewis Smithingham (2012) has been invited to attend Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, a small, invite-only film seminar run by the filmmaker.

Heidi Zito (2012) recently displayed work in a solo show at HEREart Gallery in SoHo and in a group exhibition at University of Central Florida Gallery. She has a video featured in the Masters on Main Street 2012 Film and Video Festival, and her oil paintings were recently featured in an article on the Saxifrage Press website.

Matthew Pillsbury recently had a solo exhibition, “City Stages,” at Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York.

Steel Stillman, contributing editor for Art in America, exhibited her work in “The Best of 2012” at Soloway in Brooklyn.

Charles Traub recently launched an online interactive photo exhibition site and installation titled “Still Life in America,”

Penelope Umbrico is in the midst of her commission for Percent For Art and New York Department of Cultural Affairs at PS/IS 71, slated for a 2013 opening. Randy West’s work was recently included in the exhibitions “The Unseen Eye, Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection” at the International Museum of Photography and Film, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY and “Bumping into Intangibles,” Hostetter Gallery, Martinsville, NJ. He is currently working on his second architecture project with the Venice Collaborative, CA and architect Lawrence Scarpa. Bonnie Yochelson curated the exhibition and prepared the catalogue for “Barbara Mensch: New York Photographs,” at the Robert Anderson Gallery.

Alumni Vanessa Bahmani (2009), an EXPOSURE 2011 finalist, showed work in the “Occupy Wall Street: A Photographic Document” exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum in NYC in May 2012, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, TX during the FotoFest Biennial, Mar. 17- May 6, and a solo exhibition held at the Thomson Reuters building at 3 Times Square, NYC on Feb. 16. This spring, Bahmani’s Occupy Wall Street portrait series were featured as the cover story in Revisions, a Queens College magazine, as a feature in Culturamas, a Spanish newspaper, and in a TV interview at the Just Josh! TV show on here! TV, which aired in February. Bahmani also launched an Indie GoGo campaign to help fund the completion of her new portrait series titled We Are the 99%. This project consists of over 1,000 black-and-white film portraits taken at Occupy New York and Occupy Oakland, CA. occupyportraits. Rachel Barrett (2008) received the 2011 Tracey Baran Award, given annually to one emerging female photographer from the United States. In January 2012 she began freelancing for The New York Times and this spring she took part in the group exhibition “Work/Space 2012” at The Invisible Dog Art Center, where she is a studio artist.

Cat Del Buono (2008) had a solo exhibit, “Vanity Unfair,” at 6th Street Container in Miami. The show was featured in the Huffington Post on Jan. 19, 2012. Cat also has a video installation, “Tears,” showing at both Woman Made Gallery in Chicago and at the Women’s Caucus for Art in Los Angeles. (Fellow grad Cheyenne Picardo is featured in the video.)

Jade Doskow (2008) recently joined the Huffington Post as a photography blogger. Upcoming portfolios and projects include Cacao Prieto (Something Sweeter this Valentine’s Day), Loft Life, Where Architects Live, and World’s Fair Project #2: 1900’s Spectacles. Natan Dvir’s (2010) photographic series Belief was selected as one of the “Discoveries of the Meeting Place” and was exhibited in the 2012 FotoFest Biennial in Houston, TX. In addition, selected pieces of Dvir’s series OWS were exhibited at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City as part of the group exhibition “Occupy Wall Street: A Photographic Document.”

Greg Friedler (1996) will be featured in the March 2012 edition of Lens Magazine, China in an article written by Jing Ma. He has two photographs published in Identities Now: Contemporary Portrait Photography, published by Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art. He also has a new monograph to be published by Galerie Vevais in Germany. The book, titled Greg Friedler: Humanity is expected to be out Fall 2012.

Erin Gleeson (2007) had a solo show of food photography up at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo. The exhibit featured dishes by several different New York City-based chefs. Alexander Heilner (1998) was recently appointed the associate dean of design and media at MICA / The Maryland Institute College of Art, where he has taught photography and digital imaging since 2003. Separately, he recently finished a major commission to create original digital collages, which will hang in public areas of Johns Hopkins’ new Hospital building, scheduled to open this April in Baltimore. Scott Houston’s (2009) series Chain Gang will be exhibited in the show “Cruel and Unusual” which opened on Feb. 18, 2012 at the Noorderlicht Gallery in Holland. Scott was also a featured artist in the spring issue of NYU’s ISO magazine.

Reiner Leist’s (1996) long-term project Window was exhibited in “Notations: The Cage Effect Today,” at The Hunter College Times Square Gallery. Janelle Lynch (1999) was recently awarded her third 8x10 Kodak Portra 400 film grant. The exhibition, “Tending toward the Untamed,” for which she was commissioned, was on view at Wave Hill and her River work was in a group show at 3 Punts Galería, Barcelona. This Spring, Lynch gave an artist talk in New York and California related to her book, Los Jardines de México, which PDN named as a Notable Book of 2011. Manuel Molina Martagon (2011) has videos up at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Art Museum of the Americas in DC, and presented his work at “Open Engagement 2012,” an art and social practice conference at Portland State University in May. Molina Martagon is currently collaborating with Catalan artist Antoni Abad and the Queens Museum of Art in the “you*PLURAL” project.

Amy Stein (2006) will publish her latest book, Tall Poppy Syndrome through Decode Books this August. The book is a collaboration with artist Stacy Mehrfar, and explores the relationship between the group and the individual in Australia.

Peter Svarzbein (2011), social media strategist for Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), has been commissioned to curate a series of murals for the Central Business Association of El Paso, TX. These murals will be displayed on buildings throughout downtown El Paso, less than a block from the U.S./ Mexico border and come from his success as the curator of the “Temple to the Future” project, a site-specific work designed to encourage border

unity between the sister cities of El Paso, TX and Juarez, MX through art and expression. More than two dozen artists from both cities participated in this event, sponsored by Svarzbein’s El Paso Transnational Trolley Project ( This last March, Peter was a featured lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso as part of their dynamic speaker series. Work from Daniel Traub’s (1998) Philadelphia Series was featured in a solo exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon. 

Raul Gomez Valverde (2011), current fellow of the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and faculty in the SVA BFA Fine Arts Department, exhibited his solo show “Colorear / Editar / Ocupar” at Museo de Grabado Español Contemporareo in Marbella, Spain. In 2012, Raul will curate an exhibition for Ventana 244 Art Space in Brooklyn and participate at the group shows “Region 0” at Instituto Cervantes, London and “Hacer el Fracaso” at La Casa Encendida, Madrid from Jul. 5 – Sept. 16. From Sept.-Oct., he will present his solo show “Raul would like you to be critically happy” at C Arte C, Madrid, and will publish a monograph featuring his recent work. Edie Winograde (1995) is featured in an exhibition of Colorado-based artists at the Museum of Contempory Art, Denver, from Jul. 12 –Sept. 23. The exhibition will then be on view at the Aspen Art Museum from Oct.19 – Nov. 25. Winograde currently serves on the Board of Directors of the new Colorado Photographic Arts Center, whose mission is creating a premier destination for photography and related media in the Western region.

all the b e s t,


L e n s a n d S c r e e n Ar t s – T h e S t i l l a n d M o v i n g Im a g e

Randy West, director of operations, faculty

2011 Summer Residency by Cathy Caplan

Michelle Leftheris, systems administrator

I write plays but have been longing to learn how to use this new HD technology. I signed up for last summer’s still/ moving image residency in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department.

the climactic shot of my film. Shooting without regard to processing costs feels unreal.

First day. We’re all seated around a big conference table. 14 students. We go around the room and introduce ourselves and where we are from: Sudan, India, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Korea, France, Germany. Wow. We realize we are from 11 different countries. Amazing.

We showed each other our work as we progressed. I remembered at one point half way through the program, Vicente, a production designer from Brazil had set up an elaborate miniature set in the studio with dry ice, dirt, and plants to evoke a recurring dream. Beatriz from Germany had made a film about cancer and research on live mice. Margaret from Brooklyn was making a piece in her bathroom accompanied by voice-over of a short story about an affair. Meghan and Helene shot fully dressed actresses swimming underwater in a swimming pool. It was objectively astonishing.

We all have the same goal, to make an individual piece, which will be shown at SVA’s theater in one month. It has the quality of a reality TV show. In a very compact period of time, people are producing remarkable work and going to amazing lectures by museum curators, filmmakers, and critics—Amy Taubin, Jenny Blessing, Alan Berliner, Neal Slavin, Elisabeth Biondi and an excellent lighting workshop with Chris Callis. The talent of the group is extraordinary and it has its own collective power. I go to Bethesda Fountain in Central Park to shoot. Without having an agenda, I want to set up the camera and see what happens. I look around and choose the most inconspicuous spot. I set up my tripod. Beautiful summer’s day. Ducks swimming across water. Boaters boating. I begin to shoot people relaxing and having conversations by the edge of the lake while the boaters drift behind them. I’m amazed at how invisible I am shooting with the Canon 5D Mark II. I think about Charles Traub’s discussion of Cartier-Bresson, setting the frame and waiting. I shoot the lake waiting for boats to come into frame, when out of the blue, a fish jumps high out of the water. Later, it becomes

Charles Traub, chair

(network and video), faculty Seth Lambert, systems support specialist, faculty

A luxury. I have no idea how I will use this material.

Adam Bell, academic advisor, faculty Kelly Sullivan, assistant to the chair

I wrote a script to go along with my shots from Bethesda Fountain. Actors performed it as a voice-over, and then I dubbed it over my documentary footage. After a preliminary screening, Helene, fashion photographer from France said, “I love it. It’s like a baguette.” I was bewildered, “A baguette?” She repeated, “It’s like a baguette. The playwright. Don’t you know him here?” “Oh, you mean Beckett”, I replied, “Yeah, we know him here.” Samples of 2011 residents’ work can be viewed at For further information regarding the Lens and Screen Arts – The Still and Moving Image residency contact: Keren Moscovitch, Program Coordinator Tel: 212.592.2188  E-mail:

School of visual Arts mfa Photography, Video and Related Media

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Video Related

All the Best, Alice 2012  

Photo zine published by the SVA MFA Photo/Video Department

All the Best, Alice 2012  

Photo zine published by the SVA MFA Photo/Video Department