Put away the Star Wars action figures and set your phasers to stun, the PRC is not hosting a Sci-Fi convention. BUT, we did recently receive a very generous gift of lil’ mimobots (thanks mimoco) for use in our youth education programs. I’m not generally a “Tech Geeking Out” poster but these little guys were just too cool so I thought a blog entry was in order.
So what exactly is a mimobot? When all is said and done, a mimobot is a designer USB storage drive. mimoco, the company that produces the toy/drive, commissioned a variety of artists and designers to develop the identity and design for each individual mimobot. The result, cute and cuddly mass storage devices that truly demonstrate the new convergences between art and commerce. The roster of artists commissioned by mimoco include some heavy hitters in the creative field such as artist/illustrator/ cartoonist/all-around madman Gary Baseman. And for all you sci-fi folks, they even have a new Star Wars series. Now if they could only hook up my floppy disks.
Well, who doesn’t but let me clarify. We’re not looking for your typical fear of abandonment/commitment/have to step over every other sidewalk crack, type of issues. Not that those aren’t valid, believe me I understand. Yours truly used to be an obsessive counter and reader of museum labels– nerdy, I know. But the issues we most want to hear about are those currently facing the world of commercial photography.
The PRC is investigating a program that would explore not only the current climate of commercial photography but its future trajectory. We plan on speaking with a whole host of folks to decide on the most effective course of action for this research and subsequent program. But before we get too ahead of ourselves we want to hear from all those of you in the trenches. So, if you’re a commercial photographer or shoot commercial work, if you work in an agency, if you’re a rep, sell stock, etc, please let us know what issues/challenges you face that you would most like to see addressed. What elements, germane to the future of this industry, would you like to hear about. Please list your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
For the past three weeks the PRC has been brimming with the resplendent sounds of the Summer Photo Camp! Fueled by their imagination, enthusiasm, and creativity (along with a steady flow of healthy snacks) our aspiring young photographers (8-14 years old) have been busy creating amazing images! During Camp the PRC’s galleries are transformed into multiple studios, photo editing stations, work and critique areas. The students spent their days shooting–both on location at the PRC as well as all around our surrounding neighborhoods. Once equipped with full memory cards they would confer with peers and teachers to select their best images, which they’d then edit and print at one of our Camp digital editing stations. Students also spent a great deal of time looking through photo books from the PRC’s Aaron Siskind Library for inspiration and ideas.
Our Photo Camp instructors did an amazing job inspiring our young students with a variety of fun, unique, and thoughtful activities! Led by educator Michelle Sheppard, the all star Camp team also included LeiseJones and Caleb Cole. I would like to thank them for their dedication, amazing passion, insightful instruction, and for creating such a supportive environment for the students.
The PRC would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in the 2008 Summer Photo Camp for their wonderful accomplishments! It was a pleasure to see all of their great work and we’re looking forward to what these art stars of tomorrow have in store.
Believe me, I’m the last person who wants to rush the summer along (despite today’s oppressive heat and no home air conditioning). But having just confirmed our fall speakers I can now say that I won’t be quite so despondent after the last leaves have fallen. We have the pleasure of hosting some pretty amazing artists this fall and I wanted to share the news.
Below is the list of folks and the corresponding dates of their lectures. But please keep in mind that dates may be subject to change so always check back to prcboston.org, for the most current information.
Polaroid Spotlight Lecture featuring Barbara Crane Thursday, October 23
The depth and breadth of work Barbara has produced is staggering. There’s not many people out there who can move so deftly between styles, materials, subjects, formats, etc., etc., as Barbara. Truly a Renaissance photographer!
Paul Fusco Thursday, November 13
One of the great Magnum photographers, Paul Fusco has traveled the world covering the stories that have defined our generation, including Robert F. Kennedy’s assasination and subsequent funeral train procession. He’ll share pictures from that story, which are included in his new book Paul Fusco: RFK, soon to be released by Aperture. A show of this work is currently up at Danziger Projects and was recently featured in the New York Times Magazine.
Larry Fink Thursday, December 11
Check out Fink’s current show and latest body of work, The Democrats, at Pace/MacGill Gallery. He’s applied that candid aesthetic, that we all came to know and love from his work covering black tie affairs in New York City, to the recent Democratic nomination campaign trail.
Image Credits, Top to bottom:
Barbara Crane, Santa Barbara and Refrigerator, “On the Fence” series, Tucson, Arizona, 1980, 8 x 10 inches
Paul Fusco/Magnum Photos USA. 1968, Robert KENNEDY funeral train
Larry Fink, Hillary Clinton, NC and IN, 2008. Gelatin silver print paper, 24 x 20 inches
The Polaroid Spotlight Lecture is sponsored by the Land Fund of the Polaroid Foundation
This past Sunday the Photographic Resource Center hosted its 3rd Annual Portfolio Review Day. The event brought together 23 reviewers from museums, galleries, publications, and photo agencies. On the other side of the tables were artists from all over New England, and beyond, whose work ranged widely both in subject and approach. It was humbling to see such a bustling cross-section of our photo community under one roof and I am deeply grateful to our wonderful reviewers for being so generous with their time, energy, and insight.
I spent a great deal of time peeking over the shoulders of our reviewers and was really impressed with the breadth and quality of work I saw. All in all we served 40 artists during the reviews and that’s not including those folks who came exclusively for the portfolio sharing (a whole n’other ball of fun).
We’re in the process of uploading pics from the event to our flickr page so please check those out.
Image Credit: Jim Fitts reviews the portfolio of Rania Matar. Photograph by Michael Christiano
Before we go any further let me just say that I am not the world’s most tech savy person-far from it! However, even with my meager understanding of printing processes, I was pretty impressed when Eric Luden, owner and operator of the brand spanking new shop Digital Silver Imaging, showed me examples of work shot digitally and processed using traditional gelatin silver chemicals. How is this possible…well, I’m not exactly sure. It involves some very cool machines, old school chemistry and new school papers and technology. I do know that it presents some interesting options for folks out there who shoot digitally but want an actual gelatin silver print. If you want to learn more why don’t you head out to Digital Silver Imaging’s grand opening tonight and ask Eric yourself. The event goes from 4-7 p.m. You can also check out the article Eric wrote for teachingphotography.com or see him at the Photographic Resource Center’s Annual Portfolio Review Day this Sunday, where he will have a booth and tons of samples.
Teaching Photo is a wonderful resource for photographers, photo educators, and students. It’s run by Henry Horenstein whose no-nonsense approach to topics like post-grad life options, lesson plan ideas, current trends, etc., is refreshing and helpful. Be sure to check it out.
From the “This Just In” department: Renowned photographer and uber educator Stephen DiRado has agreed to lead the Photographic Resource Center‘s Fall 2008 installment of the Portfolio Project Seminar. This program provides an in-depth opportunity to share and receive feedback on your work in a small group setting and supportive environment. For this installment Mr. DiRado has offered up the use of his legendary personal studio, in which he has been conducting salon style photo gatherings for many years. More details will be available on prcboston.org shortly.
The image above is from his “Dinner Series,” a wonderful long term project in which the artist captures intimate moments–partly candid, partly constructed–from meals shared with friends and families. Anyone whose grown up around a dinner table populated by a larger than life family can attest to how formative this space can for developing identity and relationships.
For all those of you who had wanted to but couldn’t get to the Friedlander retrospective at MoMA, do yourself a favor and pick up the exhibition catalogue. The show, which just closed at SFMOMA, was a mammoth representation of a prolific career that keeps on, keeping on. Well at least that’s what I hear from my wife who actually saw the show. Yours truly was, unfortunately, bound to his desk. But I couldn’t be happier with my catalogue consolation prize (which must have doubled the weight of her carry on). I’ve just begun to crack this massive tome (falls under the category of “books that can double as weapons”) but am already intrigued by the organization of this amazing photographer’s life’s work.
In other book-related business: Many of you know the PRC has an extensive library that houses in excess of 4,500 photo-related books. We are fortunate to receive donations from publishers, artists, and generous individuals who help to ensure that our collection keeps growing. We recently received 2 great books from the photographer Kristin Capp. Ms. Capp kindly donated her monographs Hutterite: A World of Grace and Americana. Swing by and check out these great bodies of work. I’ll periodically post new library additions to the blog and I am happy to say that we will have an on-line library catalogue available by this fall/winter.
The Photographic Resource Center is deeply saddened to report that Miriam Goodman passed away on May 11. A photographer, poet, and long time member or the New England cultural community, Miriam will be deeply missed. Among her many contributions, Miriam co-founded the Word & Image Lecture series. To view Miriam’s work please visit her website. Below is an excerpt from her obituary posted in yesterday’s Boston Globe. For the compete text please click here.
Miriam Anne (Schaeffer) Goodman
Age 69, of Arlington, formerly of Somerville/Cambridge, Provincetown, MA, and Queens, New York, on Sunday, May 11, 2008. Miriam was an accomplished poet and photographer, a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center as well as several art colonies, including the McDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and the Ragdale Foundation, in Chicago. She was an early member of Alice James Books during its cooperative days in Cambridge, MA in the late seventies. She was a technical writer and trainer for several high-tech companies in the Boston Area during that industry’s heyday in the 1980s and through the 1990s. At age 50, she studied, and then taught photography, contributing a permanent traveling collection to the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2007. During recent years she taught college-level art classes in an interdisciplinary field: “word and image,” at several area universities, including the Radcliffe Seminars, Lesley and Suffolk Universities. She also initiated and ran word-and-image lecture series for the New England School of Photography and for Lesley University. She is fondly remembered as a teacher, mentor, and woman of intense vision and intellectual depth, by all who knew and loved her. Her generosity, warmth, and laughter were a gift to all. Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 16 at Temple Shir Tikvah, 34 Vine St., Winchester, with a memorial reception at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 67 Shore Rd., Winchester from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Chilton House Hospice, 65 Chilton St., Cambridge, MA 02138, or to the Griffin Museum, 67 Shore Rd., Winchester, MA 01890, or to the charity of your choosing. Levine Chapels, Brookline (617) 277-8300
Join Nubar Alexanian for a discussion of his new book, NONFICTION: Photographs by Nubar Alexanian From the Film Sets of Errol Morris, which chronicles his 15-year collaboration with Erroll Morris, an Oscar award winning and Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker. Alexanian has worked closely with Morris while creating the still images used in many of the filmmakers projects. The two reunited during Morris’s current film, Standard Operating Procedure, about the now-famous photographs of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib. Not only does the book NONFICTION record the two artists’ collaboration, it also investigates the nature of truth and observation as well as our understanding about what it means to bear witness.
Lecture takes place on Thursday, May 8, at 7pm, and will be in BU’s Kenmore Classroom Building, Auditorium 101, 565 Commonwealth Avenue. It is FREE
Standard Operating Procedure has been getting really interesting reviews. At the core of the film are the photos we’ve all come to recognize from Abu Ghraib. It connotes the pervasiveness of digital photography and the ease with which people take and share personal or sensitive photos. If these soldiers didn’t have cameras and weren’t acculturated into a world where everything is documented and shared, who knows how the situation might have played out differently. Check out the trailer:
Image: Nubar Alexanian, Hooded Prisoner on a Box, from the film Standard Operating Procedure and Alexanian’s new book, NONFICTION
Boston Photography Focus is a blog dedicated to Boston photographers, Boston photography exhibitions and education, photo enthusiasts, and all manner of photo-based activities, news, happenings, topics, and ideas in and around Boston, New England, and beyond. It is sponsored by the Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University, New England's center for photography. The PRC is an independent non-profit organization that serves as a vital forum for the exploration and interpretation of new work, ideas, and methods in photography and related media.
Upcoming New England Events For a complete list of New England photography exhibitions and calls for entry visit our website here.