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Assumptions can often be a dangerous thing

Michael Teres

Saturday, November 09 - 1:00PM to 1:45PM

I have often said to myself as well as my students, that many times, assumptions can be a dangerous thing. They might change your life if you're not careful. Despite such words of caution, my assumptions have taken me on many unexpected journeys-both good and bad.

For example, last year at the SPE Conference in Chicago, I casually put my name in a jar at the vendor's fair. My assumption was that at best, I might get some free ink or a print. Both would have been fine, but relatively unimportant in the larger scheme of things.
However, I was selected for the Cone Editions first SPE one-day Workshop in East Topsham, Vermont.
When I arrived at the workshop, I had no idea what to expect. My assumption was that I might leave with some large photographic prints.

When I arrived, I walked into one of the biggest printing facilities I'd ever seen. There was an "electric" aura to that moment. After preliminary greetings, I told my hosts I had a feeling that, "This day will change my life forever, and possibly yours as well."
That experience was life changing. While speaking with Cathy Cone about multiple printing techniques on one piece of paper, ideas flew through my mind at an ever-accelerating speed. I began to create photographs, which previously, I never could have imagined.
I was inspired to create a single image, which simulates the look of a multiple layered printout. These new images brought me closer to my idea that, "photography is the new painting".

I have submitted my latest series of self-portrayals. To simulate an "imagined printout" of what a multiply printed photograph might look like in a single photograph. This is my first series of photographic investigations testing some of the possibilities that have occurred to me while working on this concept.

Additionally, I actually began to print multilayered photographs on a single piece of paper because I had no idea how multiply printed photographs would appear in reality. While I believe the images are interesting, they do not resemble what I assumed they would look like.

I have just started my 48th year teaching photography at SUNY Geneseo. This is the last official year for the Studio Art Department here as it is expected to close in May 2014.

A tiered retirement program will allow me to continue here until 2016, when I am scheduled to have my 50th Retrospective Exhibition. It will be my 5th such exhibition here.

I still photograph everyday. I assume that I will for the rest of my days, although assumptions can be a dangerous thing. After all, you never know how they might change your life.


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