The Photographic Universe II brings together a range of leading practitioners, scientists, theoreticians, historians, and philosophers to consider and reflect on current discussions in photography at a pivotal moment in its history. The unique format of the conference will consist of one-on-one conversations between two individuals from disparate professional and research backgrounds. The conference will conclude with a roundtable focusing on photographic education.
Doug Rickard (American, born 1968) studied United States history and sociology at the University of California, San Diego, before moving to photography. He has drawn on this background in research for his series A New American Picture, which focuses on places in the United States where unemployment is high and educational opportunities are few. On a virtual road trip, Rickard located these sites remotely using the Street View feature of the website Google Maps, which has mapped and photographed every street in the country. Scrutinizing the Google Maps pictures, he composed images on his computer screen, which he then photographed using a digital camera. The resulting pictures—digitally manipulated to remove the Google watermark and cropped to a panoramic format—comment on poverty and racial equity in the United States, the bounty of images on the web, and issues of personal privacy.
Joshua Chuang, Assistant Curator of Photographs, most recently organized the exhibition First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography and authored its accompanying catalogue. He has written widely on modern and contemporary photography and has edited monographs on the work of Judith Joy Ross and Mark Ruwedel. He is currently at work on a traveling retrospective exhibition and related series of publications devoted to the work of the American photographer Robert Adams.