FOTOFOCUS SYMPOSIUM

The 2021 FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography, originally scheduled for October 9–10, 2021, is rescheduled for April 9–10, 2022. One of FotoFocus’ major events, the Symposium gives artists, academics, and guests the opportunity to present ideas, learn new things, and discuss both historic and current themes in photography. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and travel restrictions affecting FotoFocus’s ability to hold the event in person this October, FotoFocus decided to reschedule to 2022.

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 early 2022.


The FotoFocus Symposium will explore the electronic circulation of photographs. From photography’s earliest transmissions to today’s ubiquitous information sharing online, telephotography has become so central to contemporary life it is hard to imagine communications without it. Whether through personal photographs, press images, or military surveillance, Telephotography will investigate 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 Symposium Rescheduled to 2022

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