FotoFocus is pleased to present the 2021 FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography, a Symposium and Film Program to be held at Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 9, 2021 and Sunday, October 10, 2021. The Symposium will feature lectures and panel discussions from international artists, curators, photojournalists, and educators on Saturday and a new daytime Film Program that features film screenings and conversations with filmmakers on Sunday. 

The Symposium and Film Program are free and open to the public. The full schedule and complete list of participants will be announced in August 2021. The Keynote will be livestreamed on Saturday, October 9, with the complete program streaming digitally on Saturday, October 16.

From the earliest transmissions of photographs to today’s ubiquitous information sharing online, telephotography has become so central to contemporary life it is hard to imagine communications without it. The FotoFocus Symposium will explore both the electronic circulation of photographs and the technique of photographing distant objects. Whether through personal photographs, press images, or military surveillance, Telephotography will explore our desire for closeness and the ways we bring things nearer to us through photographs

Panels and presentations will address nineteenth-century scientific photography’s attempts to capture the unseeable; early press photography and wirephoto services; artists making exhibitions in remote locations designed to be experienced through transmitted imagery; the ways filmmakers use their medium to tell private and public histories; telephotography’s impact on architecture and office design; artists whose work focuses on dis/connection; and the fierce competition among photojournalists to deliver breaking news from sites of conflict.

Speakers include Corey Keller, independent curator formerly with SFMOMA, where she curated Dawoud Bey: An American Project (2020) and Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840–1900 (2008); Jason Hill, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware and author of Artist as Reporter: Weegee, Ad Reinhardt, and the PM News Picture (2018); artist Kevin Schmidt, who transformed an abandoned homestead in remote Western Canada into EDM House, an “everyday performance” (2014); artist Moyra Davey, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the Scotiabank Prize; Dieu-Nalio Chery and Rebecca Blackwell, The Associated Press photojournalists and last year’s Pulitzer Prize finalists for their work in Haiti; and design consultant David van der Leer, who pioneered the Guggenheim Museum’s Architecture and Urban Studies program.

The FotoFocus Symposiums bring together a diverse group of speakers to engage in timely and in-depth conversations around art in the current social and political climate. This year’s speakers join a long list of past FotoFocus Symposium participants including: Mamma Andersson, Nancy Burson, Sheila Pree Bright, Germano Celant, John Divola, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Michelle Kuo, Susan Meiselas, Catherine Opie, Trevor Paglen, Fred Ritchin, and Tabitha Soren. 

Press Release (PDF): FotoFocus Announces Fall Symposium Theme and New Public Film Program

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