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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Video Library / Conference PresentationView All

Takashi Arai, Exposed in a Hundred Suns: US-Japan Nuclear Legacies...

Runtime: 18 minutes

If art is something that we cannot stop demanding to overpower us, or to transcend human knowledge and death, perhaps the new suns unveiled by thermonuclear bombs are some extreme realization of this demand-even if this is something that leaves an unremovable curse on the earth. There is a heavenly image of a nuclear cloud captured from way up in the sky. There is another image of deformed bodies piled on the ground of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is my impossible journey in search of new monuments to connect two images separated by an unbridgeable divide between extreme beauty and extreme ugliness.

Tags: conference-presentation,

Adam Ekberg, "Creating Temporal Environments"

Runtime: 42 minutes

Ekberg's work over the last 10 years has involved creating environments and intervening in landscapes exclusively for the purpose of making photographs. In these images he uses a vast array of objects, materials, lights, and techniques to transform the setting and thereby influence what is captured within the photographic frame. Ekberg's images add up to a world of objects misplaced, misused, or inexplicably activated. He hope that an illogical moment of disbelief allows for a potential reality, just slightly off, to present itself in these photographs.

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Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, Twenty Years of Collaboration

Runtime: 55 minutes

SPE 2014 National Conference Presentation "Twenty Years of Collaboration" by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe.

Tags: Conference Presentation,

John Upton, "The Golden Decade: The Students of Ansel Adams, Minor...

Runtime: 49 minutes

This is a recording from the SPE 2013 National Conference in Chicago, IL. The presentation examines the unique history of the photography program at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) from 1945 to 1955. The significance of the program in the postwar era of photographic education will be discussed in addition to the presentation of student and faculty photographs from the period.

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Steven Skopik, "Significant Insignificance-Banality in Contemporar...

Runtime: 47 minutes

Over the last few decades banality has emerged as a dominant conceptual position and aesthetic sensibility. In contrast to reigning traditions of the early and mid 20th-century approaches that valorized technical flourish, formal virtuosity, and a relatively earnest expressive register much contemporary photographic practice has gravitated towards intentionally crude pictorial styles, quotidian subject matter and a general temper of ambivalence and irony. Contradictorily, this version of banality alludes to a lurking and often fraught significance. Such work acknowledges the photographic medium's many contradictions and communicative limitations, while embracing its nonetheless considerable-and enduring-representational allure.

Tags: Conference Presentation, Skopik,

Carol Golemboski, "That Old Black and White Magic"

Runtime: 34 min

Carol Golemboski's manipulated, metaphorical images of classic illusions relate photography to the golden age of magic. Here the photographer is the conjurer, a performer who creates photographic tricks behind the curtain of the darkroom. For anyone who has ever marveled at an image "magically" appearing in the developer, these photographs express nostalgia or a way of making pictures that has quickly (and perhaps hastily) been overshadowed by digital technology. This project represents more than wistfulness for a past era and disappearing photographic techniques. It suggests that the magic of the darkroom has a place in photography's future.

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