*The open call for the FotoFocus exhibition AutoUpdate has officially ended as of 11:59PM on June 17, 2019. Late submissions will be accepted through Sunday, June 23, with no guarantee of consideration.

The AutoUpdate regional open call for submissions is powered by Submittable.


Exhibition Dates: September 14 – November 16, 2019
Reception and Performance: October 4, 2019, 5–8pm

FotoFocus is pleased to present its first regional juried group exhibition, AutoUpdate, in partnership with The Carnegie, Northern Kentucky’s largest multidisciplinary arts venue, with artists from the tri-state area, including Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

The exhibition will address digital technology’s impact on photography and video, and its disruption of art making and news cycles in a media obsessed world. Inspired by the 1994 Aperture special edition, Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age, which both envisioned fantastical uses and dire consequences of programs like Adobe Photoshop, AutoUpdate presents a much needed update on how digital technologies have continued to affect our understanding of photography and video as an artistic medium and in our current age of “post-truth” and artificial intelligence.

The exhibition will feature artists from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana who work at the intersection of photography and new media, both technically and conceptually. These artists will be selected from a regional open call for submissions by a group of guest jurors across tri-state institutions: Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus, Cincinnati, OH; Matt Distel, The Carnegie, Covington, KY; Alice Gray Stites, 21c Museum Hotels, KY, OH; Jo-ey Tang, Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, OH; Michael Vetter, Newfields, Indianapolis, IN.

The accompanying day-long symposium, AutoUpdate: Photography in the Electronic Age, will examine photography and video in today’s current artistic and political climate. This series of lectures and panel discussions invites international artists and speakers to review photography’s part in the current global crisis of information exchange; the fate of documentary filmmaking in a “post-truth” age; a historical and philosophical assessment of digital imaging, past and future. Full schedule and panelists to be announced this summer.

AutoUpdate will be on view September 14 – November 16, 2019 with a reception and performance on Friday, October 4, 2019. The all-day symposium, AutoUpdate: Photography in the Electronic Age, will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Both events will be held at The Carnegie and are free and open to the public.


Founded in 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio, FotoFocus is a nonprofit organization created to celebrate and champion photography as the medium of our time through programming that ignites a dialogue between contemporary lens-based art and the history of photography. This programming includes the FotoFocus Biennial, FotoFocus Symposium, and FotoFocus Lecture and Visiting Artist Series. FotoFocus supports programs throughout the region and has awarded over 200 grants to regional artists and institutions since 2010 for the production and presentation of photography and lens-based art.


The Carnegie inspires creativity for all and is the largest and only multidisciplinary arts venue in Northern Kentucky including The Carnegie Galleries, the Eva G. Farris Education Center and the Otto M. Budig Theatre. The Carnegie’s Open Source project, a new exhibition model, invites guest curators to engage with artists from the region to present objects and installations in a continuously evolving gallery environment.


Carissa Barnard
FotoFocus Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming
Cincinnati, OH

Carissa Barnard is the Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming at FotoFocus Cincinnati. She previously served as the Exhibitions Director at the Contemporary Arts Center where she organized exhibitions with leading contemporary artists and curators such as ON! Handcrafted Digital Playgrounds with OFFF Festival founder Hector Ayuso, Spectacle: The Music Video, and Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand. Prior to that, she was Director of The Mockbee, Cincinnati’s largest alternative venue for the presentation, discussion, and celebration of contemporary art and ideas.

Barnard curated Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds and Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018: Open Archive. She holds an MFA from the University of Cincinnati DAAP, School of Art and a BFA from the University of Arizona.

Matt Distel
Exhibitions Director of The Carnegie
Covington, KY

Matt Distel is the Exhibitions Director for The Carnegie in Covington, KY. Distel also serves as an occasional Adjunct Curator with the Cincinnati Art Museum. He has previously been the Executive Director of Visionaries + Voices and the co-founder and director of Country Club, a commercial gallery based in Cincinnati and Los Angeles.  A Cincinnati native, Distel has been organizing exhibitions since 1994 with a particular focus on artists from the region. From 2003-2007 he was the Associate Curator with the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Distel has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and installations including projects with SIMPARCH, Kendell Geers, Guy Ben-ner, Katerina Burin, Temporary Services, The Yes Men, Beth Campbell, Alexis Rockman, Jay Bolotin, Shana Moulton, Future Retrieval, Terry Berlier, Raymond Thunder-Sky, Design 99, Courttney Cooper, Ryan McGinness, Ellen Berkenblit, Edie Harper, Tom Wesselmann, and Atlas Group. Distel graduated from Miami University in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History.

Jo-ey Tang
Director of Exhibitions at The Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design
Columbus, OH

Jo-ey Tang is a curator, an artist, and a writer. He is currently Director of Exhibitions of Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, where he calibrates each season’s programming to its specific temporality. This past season, he curated arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified, which explored in four chapters the resonances between the individual practices of the members of queer art collective fierce pussy. Tang was curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, (2014 and 2015), and was arts editor of n+1 (2009 – 2014). He co-founded with artist Thomas Fougeirol The plates of the present, a photogram project with over 140 artists which enters the collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2019. He has curated and organized events and exhibitions at FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; Rupert, Vilnius; Chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai; and Praz-Delavallade, Paris. His writing has appeared in, Flash Art, and ArtAsiaPacific. For Kadist Foundation, he has interviewed artists such as Barbara Bloom, Gabriel Kuri, Pratchaya Phinthong, and R.H. Quaytman. Tang has exhibited his work at the Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart; Lyles & King, New York; Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris.

Alice Gray Stites
Museum Director and Chief Curator, 21c Museum Hotels
Louisville and Lexington, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Chicago, IL; Bentonville, AR; Des Moines, IA; Durham, NC; Oklahoma City, OK; Kansas City and Saint Louis, MO; and Nashville, TN

Alice Gray Stites is Museum Director and Chief Curator of 21c Museum Hotels—a multi-venue museum located in eight cities. 21c was founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, collectors and preservationists committed to expanding the audience for contemporary art. Stites curates exhibitions, site-specific installations, and a range of cultural programming at all 21c Museum Hotels. Since opening in Louisville in 2006, 21c has presented over 100 group and solo exhibitions exploring the global nature of art today. Most recently, Stites co-curated Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., co-presented with the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Prior to joining 21c as Chief Curator in 2012, Stites was director of artwithoutwalls, a public arts organization, and from 1995–2006 was adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum. Stites has lectured at venues such as Art Basel Conversations, Leaders in Software and Art, TEDx Stockholm, and NewInc. Stites graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia, and holds an M.A. from Columbia University.

Michael Vetter
Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Newfields
Indianapolis, IN

Michael began working in art museums as a curatorial intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond while he was finishing his undergraduate studies in art history at the University of Virginia. He received his MA in art history from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012 and his PhD in 2018. From 2013–2015, Michael worked as a curatorial assistant at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., where he contributed research and writing for a 2014 reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection as well as for the exhibitions Robert Irwin: All the Rules will Change and Days of Endless Time. It was the Hirshhorn’s Robert Irwin exhibition that led Michael to write his dissertation on the artist, and it was Irwin’s site-conditioned installation Light and Space III that first drew his attention to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Newfields.

From 2016–2018, Michael was a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland Art Gallery. There, he curated the exhibition Progress and Harmony for Mankind: Art and Technology circa 1970, which opened to the public in January, 2018. The exhibition focused on the Expo ’70 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan, and included works made by artists in Robert Rauschenberg’s organization Experiments in Art and Technology and the 1967 LACMA initiative Art and Technology.


Eligibility: Artists must be 18 year of age and residents of the United States from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana.

Artists must complete the entry form and upload their materials via Submittable.

Please provide the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Resume / CV, with exhibition history
  • Website and/or Social Media accounts
  • Bio Information
  • Artist Statement/About the Work, up to 500 words
  • Submit up to five (5) lens-based works (photography, film/video, mixed media, installation or performance) that respond to the theme of the exhibition. These works must be finished new work or work made within the last two years.  Object details are required for each work submitted: Title, Date, Medium, Dimensions/Duration, Frame dimensions (if applicable), Credit information, Sale price (if applicable).
  • Installation instructions for each work. Work must be ready to hang with mounting hardware and instructions.
  • Any additional information regarding the work.
  • All applications submitted will be considered final and treated as such. Applicants will not be permitted to add to or edit an application once it has been submitted. All incomplete or duplicate applications will be immediately disqualified.


Artists must cover the cost to transport the artwork to and from the gallery. All work selected for the exhibition must arrive ready to install. Works not gallery-ready, or not exhibiting good craftsmanship, may be omitted from the exhibit. Accepted work that differs significantly from the submitted images, or suffers from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Works must be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped works must be sent in reusable packaging. Works will be returned in the same manner as received or via FEDEX/UPS/USPS. Exhibited work will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Works not claimed within 30 days of the end of the exhibit will become the property of FotoFocus.

Works must arrive no later than: August 31, 2019 by 5pm.

Artwork must be shipped to:

The Carnegie
c/o FotoFocus AutoUpdate
1028 Scott Blvd
Covington, KY 41011

In-Person Delivery

Artists may hand deliver work to The Carnegie Thursdays – Saturdays (Noon – 5pm) between August 15 – 31, 2019. Please contact us if you have special delivery needs outside of designated delivery times.


Works will be insured while on gallery premises. Insurance covers theft, vandalism, damage caused by gallery patrons or staff (in accordance with and within limitations of gallery’s insurance policy). PLEASE NOTE: Insurance does NOT cover damage caused during shipping due to any reason, including mishandling by carrier or failure of packaging to protect works in transit. Also not covered is damage caused by failure of the work itself, its mounting systems, or disintegration/degradation due to the nature/quality of materials or craftsmanship, or incidental damage to works when artist-directed presentation method put them at risk. The artist must be capable of providing proof of value in the event of any necessary insurance claim.

*Please note: The Carnegie does not have climate control in the galleries. For more information about the conditions, please contact us directly.


Objects can be offered for sale through The Carnegie. The Carnegie requests a 35% commission on any work sold during the course of the exhibition. Works may also be listed as ‘Not for Sale’ at the artist’s discretion.


Submitting the entry form indicates that you agree with the conditions of entry and exhibit as outlined in these guidelines, and that you agree to make your work available and will ship/deliver it to the gallery should it be selected for exhibit.


Calendar & Deadlines

April 16 Open Call
June 17 Submission Deadline
Early August Notifications
Aug 14 – Aug 31 Delivery of Work
Sept 14 Exhibition Soft Open Date
Oct 4 Exhibition Reception & Performance
Nov 16 Exhibition Closing Date
Nov 18 – Dec 18 Artwork return

For more information visit: About FotoFocus or the About the Symposium.

#FotoFocus    #FFAutoUpdate

1028 Scott Blvd, Covington, KY
(859) 491-2030
Open: Wed–Sun, Noon–5pm

Exhibition: Sept 14–Nov 16
Reception: Oct 4, 5–8pm
Symposium: Oct 5, 9am–6pm
Free and Open to the Public