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Past SPE Annual Conferences

2020 SPE Annual Conference Overview

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Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

When March 05-08, 2020
Where The Westin Galleria, Houston, TX
Featured Speakers Zackary Drucker, Dr Mark Sealy MBE, Xaviera Simmons, Liz Wells
Honored Educator John Upton

Download the 2020 Annual Conference Poster Here!

20/20 VISION

2020 is coming, so… where are our jetpacks? Our reservations at the Moon Motel? And world peace?

2020 has yet to deliver on these futuristic dreams; instead, it looms full of conflict, crisis, and deep political division. This moment demands that we see the world unflinchingly, with eyes wide open, drawing on the clarity of hindsight and the perspectives that lenses and other photographic modes can bring to the world. What is photography's role at this turning point in history? How might it best respond to this moment? As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Exposure, SPE's flagship publication, it is time to use the tools we have at hand, to reevaluate our past and actively establish our present as we forge our future. In the spirit of the essays and photographs Exposure has published over the years, 2020 Vision is an occasion to explore the connection between written and visual frames of understanding. Through image and text we have the power to soothe and enchant, unravel misrepresentation, provoke, investigate, inform, expose, advocate, collaborate, engage, and celebrate our connections as we work toward change.

20/20 Vision invites us, as artists, critics, curators, imagemakers, historians, theorists, and writers, to use our words and our images to define the state of contemporary photography. It challenges us to expand our vision of photography to be inclusive of adjacent modes; to build a new canon that accurately reflects our community and its diverse range of practitioners; and to see what is known to us with greater criticality and more probing analysis, and what is unknown with greater empathy.

As we approach 2020, knowing the risks of not speaking up or of speaking too loudly, let us be purposeful in our visual language. Though our discussions and explorations of contemporary photography and its relationships to and impact on the world, we can find inspiration to move our medium into the future.

Organized in cooperation with FotoFest and the FotoFest 2020 Biennial 

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