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Photography and the Non-Place: The Cultural Erasure of the City

Photography and the Non-Place: The Cultural Erasure of the City

My book was published in March 2019 by Palgrave MacMillan. The book includes photographs by myself, in addition to work from Ed Ruscha, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Misrach, Roy Arden, Wout Berger, Mikael Levin. An eclectic book that will make a critical contribution to other disciplines beyond visual sociology.

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Atlas of Dreams

Atlas of Dreams

I created the installation Atlas of Dreams, a series of artistic maps and audio recordings, to portray the emotional traces left by 145 dreamers when they narrated their memorable dreams in the cities of the Bay Area of San Francisco.

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Untitled Study of NYC Streets

Untitled Study of NYC Streets

The way a city looks is, on any given day, both summation and confluence of hundreds of decisions made in the years and decades that preceded it. Across the history of photography, numerous photographers have taken it upon themselves to record the version of the city they experience with the understanding that the the presence of the landscape they take for granted is fleeting and vulnerable to choices made by government officials, developers, business interests, and even city residents who inhabit the sidewalk.

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Working across cultures: Autonomy, Moral Agency and Consent in Kyrgyz Culture

Working across cultures: Autonomy, Moral Agency and Consent in Kyrgyz Culture

This exhibit features an extract from an ongoing documentary project aiming to provide an insight into Kyrgyz culture and its influence on everyday life in Kyrgyzstan. The film features an interview with an artist we met during visits to the Issy Kul region of Kyrgyzstan in 2011. Our visit took place a few months after a a short but bloody revolution and subsequent ethnic violence in the South of the country that had a seriously disrupting impact on the Kyrgyz national psyche.

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News/updates

IVSA 2020 Conference

Although we are still deep in preparation for our 2019 IVSA conference in New York, we have some great news for you. We are ready to announce our 2020 conference venue and date for your diaries.

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IVSA ELECTIONS

On behalf of the IVSA, I would like to thank everyone who stood for a position in our recent elections to the IVSA Board. Although not everyone could be successful, we very much appreciate the commitment that members have shown towards the work of the IVSA. We also want to thank all our members who took the time to vote.

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

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    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

#Visualsociology

Routledge Creative Media and the Arts

Visual Studies will be at the IVSA 2019 Annual Conference this year! Get ready for the conference by reading their article on ‘The Politics of Twilights’ with free access here: bit.ly/2JprOx5 #VisualSociology

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