THE PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE: A CONFERENCE MARCH 2-3, 2011

For those of you who are as into more than just the latest digital gear, this will be something worth attending.

The Photography Program in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsonsthe New School for Design, The Aperture Foundation,Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and The Shpilman Institute for Photography have joined forces to organize The Photographic Universe: A Conference, a unique two-day symposium that will bring together a range of leading practitioners, scientists, theo reticians, historians, and philosophers, drawing from the faculty at Parsons, professionals in the science and technology fields, as well as prominent experts from external institutions, to consider and reflect on current discussions in photog raphy at a pivotal moment in its history. This unprecedented conference will take place at Theresa Lang Center, New School located at 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor in New York.

The field of photography is constantly changing. Technologies, theories, and what consti tutes a ‘photographer’ or a ‘photograph’ are prone to unending developments. In the last decade, this rapid transformation has only accelerated due to pervasive digitization. Paradoxically, one might say that photography is now in a simi lar place to where it was during the first few decades of its invention––a time when its emerging cultural significance quickly expanded due to innovative technological developments. Similarly, in the last two decades, we have seen an expanding definition of photography through the digital revolution, the Internet, and the accelerated stream of interest in new photographic processes and applications. Thus, it is impor tant to reflect on this current moment – with the rapidly increasing permeation of photography throughout contemporary life – on what is the importance of photography as a specific medium or discipline from the perspective of a practitioner, user, pedagogue, technologist, historian, among others. Furthermore, how can we evaluate contemporary culture within the expanding photographic field while speculating the future of images? The Photographic Universe: A Conference will attempt to answer these questions through broad artistic, scientific, cultural, sociopolitical arcs to examine the implications of images in contemporary life.

The unique format of the conference will consist of one-on-one conversations between two individuals from disparate professional and research backgrounds. Each speaker will present a ten-minute presentation on the subject of photography, followed by twenty-minute dialogue responding to each other’s presentation.

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

Additional conference details are available at photographicuniverse.parsons.edu.