Expanding the theme for this week, the 2:00 lectures examines the ethical lens of photography through which to see the issues that hold us accountable as humans for the quality of life among us and for our stewardship of the planet that we share as home. Ethical issues revealed by photography will include war and genocide, marketplace and commerce, technology, journalism, and religion -- and the power of photography to engender spiritual activism will also be explored.
Dr. Alison Devine Nordstrom
Alison Nordstrom is Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House, the oldest and largest museum of photography in the United States. She was the Founding Director and Senior Curator of the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1991 to 2002. She has curated over 100 exhibitions of photography including the popular biennial series Fresh Work, and major surveys of landscape, portraiture, travel photographs and journalism. At George Eastman House, she has initiated the contemporary biennial Vital Signs, and has curated Paris: Photographs by Eugene Atget and Christopher Rauschenberg, Why Look at Animals?, and Know War.
She writes and lectures extensively on contemporary and historical photography. Nordstrom holds a BA in English Literature, an MLS with museum emphasis, and a PhD in Cultural and Visual Studies.
Method of recording permanent images by the action of light projected by a lens in a camera onto a film or other light-sensitive material. It was developed in the 19th century through the artistic aspirations of two Frenchmen, Nicéphore Niepce and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, whose combined discoveries led to the invention of the first commercially successful process, the daguerreotype (1837). In addition, two Englishmen, Thomas Wedgwood and William Henry Fox Talbot, patented the negative-positive calotype process (1839) that became the forerunner of modern photographic technique. Photography was initially used for portraiture and landscapes. In the 1850s and '60s, Mathew B. Brady and Roger Fenton pioneered war photography and photojournalism. From its inception, two views of photography predominated: one approach held that the camera and its resulting images truthfully document the real world, while the other considered the camera simply to be a tool, much like a paintbrush, with which to create artistic statements. The latter notion, known as Pictorialism, held sway from the late 1860s through the first decade of the 20th century, as photographers manipulated their negatives and prints to create hazy, elaborately staged images that resembled paintings. By the 1920s and '30s, a new, more realistic style of photography gained prominence, as photographers such as Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams began to pursue sharply focused, detailed images. The Great Depression and two world wars inspired many photographers, including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, to pursue documentary, often socially conscious photography. Inspired by such work, many photojournalists, including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, also emerged during this period. In the second half of the 20th century, the urban social scene became a subject of much interest to photographers, as did celebrity portraiture and fashion photography. At the turn of the 21st century, photographers took advantage of digital capabilities by experimenting with enormous formats and new manipulative techniques. As technological advances improve photographic equipment, materials, and techniques, the scope of photography continues to expand enormously. See alsodigital camera.