RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
Issues In Contemporary Photography
Instructor: Thomas Carabasi
This course is a survey of contemporary photographic issues and practice. Using selected readings and visual examples from influential photographers and writers, students examine the impact of the medium on American culture and the fields of communication and art.
This course is designed to familiarize students with the critical, aesthetic and technical debates facing the contemporary photographer. We will examine the role of the photographic tradition, modernism, post-modernism, computer-manipulated images and fine-art photography in a contemporary context. Throughout the semester students will be asked to reflect on how these issues affect their own work and to refine their analytical, verbal and visual communication skills.
Competencies/Student Learning Outcomes
Students are expected to develop a vocabulary and awareness of the key issues of the contemporary photographic discourse. Students should be able to “read” and interpret photographic images from a variety of perspectives and express their ideas clearly in both verbal and written form. Students will also be required to visually represent the ideas discussed in class. Besides formal concerns, this will include understanding issues of how we represent ourselves in terms of race and gender, how the medium influences visual culture and how artists use the medium to comment on both the history of art and contemporary life.
After Photography, Fred Ritchen
Click Double Click, The Documentary Factor, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2006
The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames and Hudson, 2004
Texts on reserve in the library:
Photography Reborn : Image Making in the Digital Age. Johnathan Lipkin. Harry N. Abrams. 2005.
Art After Modernism, Rethinking Representation, Edited by Brian Wallis and Marcia Tucker, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1989
Art Photography Now, Susan Bright, Aperture, London/New York 2005.
Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography. Phaidon Press. 2007
Photography Now: One Hundred Portfolios. Wright State University. 2007. DVD in library.
Photography: A Critical Introduction, Liz Wells, Routledge Press, 2004
Criticizing Photographs, An Introduction to Understanding Images by Terry Barrett. Third Edition. Mayfield Publishing Company, 1996.
A Critical History of American Photograph by Jonathan Green. Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. New York. 1984
Art After Modernism, Rethinking Representation, Edited by Brian Wallis and
Marcia Tucker, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1989
Selected readings by Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, A.D. Coleman, Hal Foster, Suzi Gablick and Lucy Lippard also on reserve.
The following books were used as reference material for this course. This could be a very helpful list for future reference and students should familiarize themselves with as many of these books as possible. They are listed in alphabetical order by author.
1. The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram. Vintage Books. New York. 1997.
2. New Essays on the Psychology of Art. Rudolf Arnheim. University of California Press. 1986.
3. Image-Music-Text.. Roland Barthes. Hill and Wang/New York. 1977.
4. Mythologies.. Roland Barthes. Hill and Wang/New York. 1978.
5. Camera Lucida. Roland Barthes. Hill and Wang/ New York.
6. Culture On The Brink, Ideologies of Technology. Edited by Gretchen Bender and Timothy Druckery. DIA Center for the Arts. 1994.
7. Illuminations. Walter Benjamin. Schocken Books. New York.1969.
8. Ways of Seeing. John Berger.Penguin Books. 1972.
9. The Contest of Meaning. Critical Histories of Meaning. Richard Bolton. MIT Press 1982.
10. From Modernism to Postmodernism. Edited byLawrence Cahoone.Blackwell Publishers. 1996.
11. Critical Focus. Photography in the International Community. A.D. Coleman.Nazraeli Press. 1994.
12. Society of the Spectacle. Guy Debord. Black and Red Press/ New York. 1983.
13. Discussions in Contemporary Culture. Hal Foster.Dia Art Foundation. Bay Press, Seattle. 1987.
14. Vision and Visuality. Hal Foster. Dia Art Foundation. Bay Press, Seattle. 1987.
15. Recodings - Art , Spectacle, Cultural Politics. Hal Foster. Bay Press, Seattle. 1985.
16. Has Modernism Failed? Suzi Gablick. Thames and Hudson. 1984.
17. Culture of Complaint. Robert Hughes. Oxford University Press. 1993.
18. Negative/Positive. A Philosophy of Photography. Bill Jay.Kendall/Hunt 1979.
19. Being Digital. Nicholas Negroponte. Vintage Books, New York. 1995.
20. In Our Own Image. The Coming Revolution in Photography. Fred Ritchin. Aperture Press. 1990.