Photography, Expanded - Labs #1 & #2

Looking ahead to the year’s third installment of Photography, Expanded programming, Creative Innovation and Digital Community: Art & Media on the Brink of Change, we thought we’d take the opportunity to reflect on two preceding labs and the catalyst for our programming.

The inaugural symposium of the Photography, Expanded initiative in April 2013 brought a capacity crowd to Aperture Gallery & Bookstore for presentations and discussions.

Built on the overwhelming interest and feedback from participants, we’ve built a two-day lab format to reach both a wider public through open panel presentations and a targeted group of media makers in hands-on workshops. 


Lab #1: “Collaborative Images: New Models of Authorship and Aggregation” featured a panel on March 18 with journalist and curator Madeleine Bair (WITNESS Human Rights Channel), artist and activist Michael Premo (Sandy Storyline), and artist Brooke Singer, moderated by artist and professor Michael Mandiberg [watch the video].

On March 23, the group of selected photographers were presented case studies by activist and photographer Oren Ziv (ActiveStills), photo startup entrepreneur Paul Melcher (Stipple), and photographer Ruddy Roye, and then worked in groups to develop their project ideas using online and social media strategies to frame their discussions.


Lab #2: “The Story of Data: Visualization, Mapping, and Photography” also went broader in scope during the panel on April 29, featuring perspectives from photography and transmedia (Jake Price, Unknown Spring), mobile app development (Harlo Holmes from The Guardian Project), tactical media art (Paolo Cirio), and interactive journalism (Derek Watkins from The New York Times), with discussion moderated by visual communication strategist Stephen Mayes [watch the video].

A new group of selected photographers came together on the second day, May 2, to dig into more specific issues related to visualization and mapping tools and strategies for photography-based projects. Price re-joined us to further unpack the methods behind Unknown Spring. Data artist Josh Begley presented his powerful web-based projects that aggregate satellite and surveillance photos of prisons and military bases. Annelie Berner discussed her mapping work at Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab, and shared some available online resources for visualization and mapping. Florian Meissner, founder of EyeEm, made a compelling case for better image tagging done algorithmically, to produce a dynamic and searchable online photo-sharing platform.

We are currently devising a plan for supporting the projects brought to the lab workshops as they move into the next phase of development. In the meantime, stay engaged in the conversation by joining the PhotoEx Facebook group

Simone Salvo