Through the Imago Lecture Bureau, I offer a variety of workshops and seminars available for presentation to various contituencies. These are specifically designed for and of interest to collectors, curators, teachers, historians, critics, creative writers, producers of intellectual property, and members of the educated audience for photography and media art. Among the disciplines to which they’re pertinent — in addition to photography and art — are sociology, visual anthropology, media studies, communication theory, visual culture, creative writing, and American studies.
I have presented these intensive small-group encounters at colleges, universities, museums, alternative institutions and other venues around the world since 1970. These events involve no special equipment, and can be staged in any space (such as a classroom, conference room, studio, loft or apartment) that can comfortably hold 10-15 attendees.
The list below includes descriptions of the seminars and workshops currently available.
- “Coming to Terms” explores a broad range of issues in contemporary photography: the development of a working vocabulary for the discussion of photographs as imagery and as objects; the current field of ideas and images in the medium; the relationship between criticism and historianship; contemporary critical theory; the state of photography education; the implications of digitization; and much more. Reading and writing assignments help participants increase their abilities to articulate their own ideas about the medium. This is offered as a 5-day session.
- “Writing to/from Photographs” emphasizes close attention to the individual photograph as both image and object, treating it as evidence, and addressing it as a jumping-off point for writing from many standpoints: scholarly, critical, poetic, fictional, dramatic. While the elements of this can be compressed into a two-day intensive session, it works best as a 5-day session.
- “Toward a Critical Vocabulary” emphasizes the basic elements of photography criticism: it is intended to introduce a methodology that participants can continue to explore on their own, whether as audience, as photographers, as teachers, or as critics, after the workshop ends. This is a two-day session, suitable for weekends.
- “What Were Photographs?” is designed for curators, collectors, gallerists and others concerned with issues involving the making, collecting, marketing, preservation and presentation of the various forms of photographic objects produced during the medium’s pre-digital phase, and the digital-era equivalents and offshoots thereof. This is a two-day session, suitable for weekends.
- “Professionalizing Your Practice” is constructed for makers of intellectual property: working writers and photographers and aspiring pre-professionals in those fields. It emphasizes contract negotiation, copyright law, the work-for-hire contract plague, self-syndication and micro-marketing, the impact of new digital/electronic media, ethical issues, and other professional concerns. This is a one-day session, divisable into two related but independent sessions — so it can run on two separate evenings, for example. (These are variants of seminars also offered through the National Writers Union in NYC. For information on those, click here.)
- “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Photography Criticism (But Were Afraid to Ask)” is a free-wheeling conversational encounter open to a wide range of participants’ concerns. This is a half-day to one-day session.