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    Erin Sharp Newton
    Apr 9, '22 3:49 PM EST

    FOTOFOCUS SYMPOSIUM (4.9.22-4.10.22)

    "The FotoFocus Symposium returns for its sixth edition this spring, centered around the theme of Telephotography and held across two locations. World-renowned speakers from the fields of architecture, art, fashion, film, psychology, and media will speculate on the past, present, and future of sharing images over long distances—both physically and digitally, literally and figuratively—in a series of panel discussions, lectures, and film screenings.


    From the earliest transmissions of photographs to today’s ubiquitous information sharing online, telephotography has become so central to contemporary life it is hard to imagine communications without it. The FotoFocus Symposium will explore both the electronic circulation of photographs and the technique of photographing distant objects. Whether through personal photographs, press images, or military surveillance, Telephotography will explore our desire for closeness and the ways we bring things nearer to us through photographs.

    Panels and presentations will address nineteenth-century scientific photography’s attempts to capture the unseeable; early press photography and wirephoto services; artists making exhibitions in remote locations designed to be experienced through transmitted imagery; the ways filmmakers use their medium to tell private and public histories; telephotography’s impact on architecture and office design; artists whose work focuses on dis/connection; and the fierce competition among photojournalists to deliver breaking news from sites of conflict.

    Artist participants include renowned visual artist and fashion photographer Collier Schorr—the Symposium’s keynote speaker—who has exhibited worldwide and shot covers and editorials for Vogue and The New York Times; celebrated photographer Moyra Davey, known for her mailed photographs series in which she folds her photographs into envelopes and sends them to friends; visual artist and environmental activist Mary Mattingly, who often places her installations addressing climate change in unreachable waters; and Kevin Schmidt, the artist who transformed a remote, abandoned house into an art installation that was practically impossible to visit in-person but widely shared on social media.


    The first day of programming, Saturday, April 9, held at Memorial Hall, will address a wide range of subjects, such as how nineteenth century scientists tried to capture electricity on film; the meteoric progression of press photography between the 1930s and 1970s; how architectural renderings and visualizations have changed in recent years; and the complex role of being a photojournalist in today’s world of rapid-fire news cycles. 

    The second day of the Symposium, Sunday, April 10, will be a Film Program held at The Garfield Theatre, featuring multiple film shorts and a screening of the film El actor principal [The Leading Actor]. The day includes a panel discussion showcasing the diversity of Latin American cultures to North American audiences, while examining the ways in which media—photographic imagery in particular—creates and distorts understanding of foreign cultures.


    For decades, architects and designers largely preferred representing their building and city designs as unpopulated as possible in order to highlight those designs. Today, visualizations of future spaces, and their documentation once built, have begun to include people but as a subordinate element to the designs. This panel explores how photography and visualizations can help us better understand how we are actually impacted by the architectural spaces we inhabit.

    Curated by Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director. Moderated by David van der Leer, Principal, DVDL,  with panelists: Todd Levon Brown, Environmental Psychologist; Iwan Baan, Photographer; and Erin Sharp Newton, Design Director for the Healthcare Practice at Posen Architects. 

    The Symposium and Film Program are free and open to the public.
    Full Symposium Schedule and Symposium Participants.

    Selected text above comes from the website:


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