About the Participants

10am Panel: Curators and The Digital Museum

Co-Moderator: 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. 

Co-Moderator: 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.

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 Hotel. Founded in 2006 by art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c is a multi-venue contemporary art museum located in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Chicago, Bentonville, Des Moines, Durham, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Nashville. Stites curates exhibitions, site-specific installations, and a range of cultural programming at all 21c Museum Hotels. Recently, Stites has curated OFF-SPRING: New Generations; Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective; Truth or Dare: A Reality Show; The Future is Female; Hybridity: the New Frontier; Dis-semblance: Projecting and Perceiving Identity; Aftermath: Witnessing War, Countenancing Compassion; and others.

Prior to joining 21c as Chief Curator in 2012, Stites was director of artwithoutwalls, a non-profit, non-collecting public arts organization, and from 1995–2006 was adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY. She is an adjunct member of the fine arts faculty at the University of Louisville and has been active on advisory boards at the University of Kentucky’s College of Design and at the Art Museum, and at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Stites graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia, and holds an M.A. from Columbia University.

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 Artforum.com, 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.

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

Michael Vetter 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 2014reinstallation 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 Vetter 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.

11am Conversation: Digital Evolution/Digital Revolution

Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director, New York, NY

Kevin Moore is a curator and writer based in New York. He is the Curator of the McEvoy Collection, San Francisco, and the Host of CUNY TV’s broadcast series Twilight Talks, as well as the Artistic Director and Curator of FotoFocus, Cincinnati. His recent exhibitions and publications include Old Paris and Changing New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott (Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati/Yale University Press) and Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks (Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati/Damiani). He is also the author of Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 (Cincinnati Art Museum/Hatje Cantz) and Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist (Princeton University Press).

Fred Ritchin, Dean Emeritus of the International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Fred Ritchin is Dean Emeritus of the School at the International Center of Photography. Previously he was professor of Photography and Imaging (1991-2014) at New York University, where he co-founded the Photography and Human Rights program and taught courses on the future of imaging and on new media strategies in the Interactive Telecommunications Program. He also founded the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography one-year full-time educational program at the International Center of Photography in 1983. 

Ritchin was picture editor of the New York Times Magazine (1978-82), and was executive editor of Camera Arts magazine (1982-83).  In 1999 he co-founded and directed PixelPress, an experimental online publication as well as a collaborator on humanitarian initiatives that worked with organizations such as UNICEF, WHO, Crimes of War, the Rwanda Project, and UNFPA on initiatives such as one to end polio globally and another to advance the UN’s millennium development goals.

In 1984 he wrote the first major article on the coming digital revolution in photography for the New York Times Magazine. In 1990 Ritchin wrote the first book on photography’s transition to digital, In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture), and in 2008 he published After Photography (WW Norton),and in 2013 Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture). He has curated many exhibitions including “Bending the Frame,” on alternative media strategies for social change, “An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastião Salgado,” and “Contemporary Latin American Photographers.”

In 1994-95 he created the first multimedia version of the New York Times, and in 1996 he conceived and edited the hypertext documentary website “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace” for the Times featuring the work of photographer Gilles Peress, which was nominated by the Times for a Pulitzer prize in public service. More recently he created the “Four Corners Project” (fourcornersproject.org) to provide context and ethical grounding for the photograph online. 

He teaches courses on Images and Ideas, Image-Based Strategies for Human Rights, and Photography and Social Justice at the International Center of Photography and at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

12pm Panel: Deepfake News

Moderator: Dean Kissick, Writer and New York Editor of Spike Quarterly, New York, NY

Dean Kissick is the editor for Spike Art Magazine in New York, and writer for Spike’s monthly column “The Downward Spiral” about art and culture in these years of mass hysteria. He has written essays and stories for the likes of Cécile B. Evans, Parker Ito, Julien Nguyen, Laure Prouvost, and Amalia Ulman.

Elisabeth Bik, PhD, Microbiome and Science Integrity Consultant, San Francisco, CA

After receiving her PhD in Microbiology at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Elisabeth Bik worked at the Dutch National Institute for Health and the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. She worked 15 years in the lab of David Relman in the School of Medicine at Stanford, on the microbiome of humans and marine mammals. In May 2014, she founded Microbiome Digest, an almost daily compilation of scientific papers in the rapidly growing microbiome field. From 2016-2018, she worked at uBiome as a Science Editor, and later as the Scientific and Editorial Director. In 2018, she joined Astarte Medical as their Director of Science. In March 2019, she became a Microbiome and Science Integrity consultant. She can often be found discussing science papers on Twitter at @MicrobiomDigest, or searching the biomedical literature for inappropriately duplicated or manipulated photographic images and plagiarized text.

Rob Horning, Editor, New York, NY

Rob Horning is an editor at Real Life, a journal about technology and everyday life.

2pm Comment by Nancy Burson: Seeing is Believing

Nancy Burson, Artist, New York, NY

Acclaimed artist/photographer Nancy Burson’s work is shown in museums and galleries internationally. “Seeing and Believing”, her traveling 2002 retrospective originating at the Grey Art Gallery, was nominated for Best Solo Museum Show of the Year in New York City by the International Association of Art Critics. She has served as a visiting professor at Harvard and was a member of the adjunct photography faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for five years. Burson currently books events and reviews portfolios for the Photography Department at the New York Film Academy in NYC.

Nancy Burson combined art and innovation in a way that challenged photographic truth at the birth of digital manipulation. She is best known for her pioneering work in morphing technologies which age enhance the human face and still enable law enforcement officials to locate missing children and adults. Her Human Race Machine is still used as an educational diversity tool that provides viewers with the profound visual experience of being another race.

Her work is included in museums worldwide including the MoMA, Metropolitan Museum, and the Whitney Museum in New York City, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, the LA County Museum of Art, MoMA (San Francisco), the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, as well as many others. She has collaborated with Creative Time, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Deutsche Bank in completing several important public art projects in NYC. These projects include the poster project, “Visualize This” (Creative Time, 1991), the billboard, ‘There’s No Gene For Race” (2000), the poster/postcard project “Focus on Peace”, commissioned for the first anniversary of 9/11, and “Looking Up” and “Truth”, at the 60 Wall St. Atrium, 2005. In the last few years, Burson’s public artworks have been displayed as works projected in light in both the Berlin Festival of Light and the New York Festival of Light.

One of Burson’s images was chosen for Time Magazine’s book: 100 Photographs, The Most Influential Images of All Time. Her work has been featured in all forms of media including segments on Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, National Public Radio, PBS, and Fuji TV News, as well as countless local TV segments in the USA, Canada and Europe. Prominent articles featuring her work have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Houston Chronicle, and Scientific American Magazine to name a few. There are four monographs of her work and reproductions of it appear in hundreds of art catalogs. It is also widely featured in text books on the history of photography published in all languages. Burson has been awarded grants from the NEA, the National Science Foundation, Anonymous Was A Woman, The Peter Reed Foundation, and CAST (Collaborations in Art, Science and Technology).

Burson’s new TogetherAllOne concepts and designs promote the concept of global unity and encompass everything from interactive children’s books to projected lighting installations and public sculptures. Her fine art photography is available through ClampArt Gallery in NYC, Rose Gallery in LA, and Paci Contemporary in Brescia, Italy.

2:30pm Panel: Artists in the Forest of Signs

Moderator: Michelle Kuo, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Michelle Kuo is the Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. She was the Editor in Chief of Artforum from 2010–2017 and helmed the 50thanniversary issue of the magazine, focusing on art and new media, as well as numerous other special issues on topics ranging from technological fabrication to identity politics. Kuo is the author of essays on the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, and Lynn Hershman Leeson, among others; has lectured widely at institutions including the Centre Pompidou and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing; contributes to publications such as October and The Art Bulletin; and has served as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting critic at the Yale School of Art. In 2004, she co-curated “Le Corbusier and the Synthesis of the Arts” at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and in 2015 was curatorial advisor for “Experiments in Art and Technology” at the Museum of Modern Art Salzburg. Kuo has served on numerous juries and panels, including those of the Hugo Boss Prize, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Bucksbaum Award, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kuo received her BA (1999) from Stanford University in art history and international relations, and her Ph.D. (2018) in history of art and architecture from Harvard University; her dissertation focused on the postwar organization Experiments in Art and Technology.

Josh Kline, Artist, New York, NY

Josh Kline (b. 1979, Philadelphia, USA) lives and works in New York. Kline’s work was included this year in the 2019 Whitney Biennial; and group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Working primarily in sculpture, video, and installation, Josh Kline creates artworks and exhibitions that consider the ways in which our humanity has been transformed, commodified, and instru­mentalized within neoliberal society. In 2015, Kline began a major cycle of installation-based projects exploring the politics and economics of the 21st Century, which have so far explored the impact of social media on democracy, technological automation, and climate change.

His art has been exhibited internationally, including in solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Stuart Shave Modern Art, London; and 47 Canal, New York; and group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, and the New Museum, in New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC; ICA Boston; ICA Philadelphia; MOCA Cleveland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; KW, Berlin; Yuz Museum, Shanghai; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, among others.

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Artist and Filmmaker, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

Over the last four decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films.  Named “the most influential media artists working today, Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her innovative work investigating issues that are now recognized as key to the workings of society: the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. Over the last forty years she has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film, performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art,  ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, mounted the first comprehensive retrospective of her work titled Civic Radar. A substantial publication accompanies the exhibition. 

Her six feature films, which have been widely acclaimed and distributed include Strange Culture, Teknolust, Conceiving Ada and !Women Art Revolution – A Secret History, The Electronic Diary. She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Prize for writing and directing. 

Art work by Lynn Hershman Leeson is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery of Canada, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Center, in addition to many celebrated private collections.  Recently honored with grants from Creative Capital, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Nathan Cummings Foundation, she is also the recipient of a Siemens International Media Arts Award, and in 2018 Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, College Art Association and Women’s Caucus for Arts. She has received Rainen Fellowships, Prix Ars Electronica Grand Prize,  John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship , SF Film Society’s Persistence of Vision Award, and a USA Fellowship Award. She will participate in the opening Art Exhibition at The Shed and next year at the Gwangzhou Biennial.

In 2004, Stanford University Libraries acquired Hershman Leeson’s working archive. Hershman Leeson is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis, and served as Chair of the film Department at San Francisco Art Institute.

3:30pm Panel: Documentary Filmmaking: Observing Outside the Lines

Moderator: Toby Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, New York, NY

Toby Lee is an artist, anthropologist, and Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She works across film, video, drawing, and text, and her work has been exhibited at Locarno, Ann Arbor, Camden, Thessaloniki, Flaherty NYC, Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), and the 2014 Whitney Biennial, among others. Her research interests include visual and media anthropology, the anthropology of cultural institutions, cultural citizenship, expanded documentary, and cultures of surveillance and documentation. She is currently writing a book on the politics of cultural production in contemporary Greece. 

Lee has a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies from Harvard University, where she was a member of the Sensory Ethnography Lab. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Dan David Foundation, the Film Study Center at Harvard University, and the Flaherty Film Seminar. From 2012 to 2014, she was the Director of the Collaborative Studio program at UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, NY.

Jacqueline Goss, Filmmaker and Professor of Film and Electronic Arts, Bard College, NY

Jacqueline Goss makes movies about scientific systems and how they change the ways we think about ourselves. Two recent recent works include “The Observers”––a feature-ish length portrait of a weather observatory on the windiest mountain in the world and “The Measures” ––an essay film and artist’s book made with artist Jenny Perlin about the history of the metric system and “invention” of the meter.

A native of New Hampshire, Goss is a 2008 Tribeca Film Institute Media Arts Fellow and the 2007 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Film and Video. 

Goss teaches in the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Christopher Harris, Experimental Filmmaker and Head of Film and Video Production in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Christopher Harris is a filmmaker whose films and video installations read African American historiography through the poetics and aesthetics of experimental cinema.  His work employs manually and photo-chemically altered appropriated moving images, staged reenactments of archival artifacts and interrogations of documentary conventions. His current project is a series of optically-printed 16mm experimental films in conversation with canonical works of African-American literature.

His international solo exhibitions include screenings at Images Festival (Toronto), the Essay Film Festival (London), Encontro de Cinema Negro (Rio de Janeiro), the Brakhage Center Symposium (Boulder), the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago) and the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus); two-person screenings at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, D.C.) and UnionDocs (Brooklyn); group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Artists’ Film Biennial at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the VIENNALE-Vienna International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, among many others.

Harris received a 2019-20 Artist Residency Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts and was a featured artist at the 2018 Flaherty Seminar, the recipient of a 2017 Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship and the recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital grant.

5pm Artist Keynote with Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen, Artist, Berlin and San Francisco, CA

Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures.

Trevor Paglen’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Berkeley Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Nevada Museum of Art. He has launched an artwork into distant orbit around Earth in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT, contributed research and cinematography to the Academy Award-winning film Citizenfour, and created a radioactive public sculpture for the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan.

He is the author of several books and numerous articles on subjects including experimental geography, state secrecy, military symbology, photography, and visuality. Paglen’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Economist and Art Forum.

He has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize and the 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, among others.

Paglen holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Geography from U.C. Berkeley.

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FOTOFOCUS AT THE CARNEGIE
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