speaking of APIS...
Christina mentioned APIS in her post...and...I was wondering who may be
going this year?
You see, I won't be able to make it because it my daughter's sixth birthday
on July 31, and I would never want to miss that...this being such a special
age and time in her life.
I was wondering if anyone could take notes or something. I'm most interested
in Stan Klimek's presentation. Or maybe B&S will have a special presentation
via website after the show, like video clips of the talks...yes, no, maybe?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christina Z. Anderson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Alt List" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 2:41 PM
Subject: F295 symposium long synopsis
Back from the F295 symposium in Pittsburgh
(http://www.f295.org/symposium2009/ and I have to say I was very
impressed. First of all, I was unaware that F295 has about 2000 (!)
members. That's triple this list serve....Second, Tom Persinger runs a
tight ship--aside from a technical glitch or two (when does that not
happen) the speakers spoke on schedule and all were excellent
lecturers--not always the case at symposiums, conferences, seminars.
Being an excellent artist does not always correlate with being an
excellent speaker....but these speakers were. There were 9 of them as you
can see on the website.
Third, it is so energizing to be in a group of like-minded, somewhat
anachronistic people as we are. When you get right down to it, there
aren't many of us and so many times it is a VERY small world, with so and
so knowing so and so invariably.
I mean, how many of us out there wax poetic about pinhole or alt process?
Not many. How many of us go out to dinner and set up a pinhole camera to
take pix of the meal out? Apparently Nancy Breslin is doing this every
restaurant meal she eats for a year. How many people think to plop a wet
plate collodion teeny plate in a Holga like Gayle Stevens does? They were
adorable. How many people think to take the Lumenprint/Jerry Burchfield
process/POP photograms and apply it to the salt print, exposing salt
prints outside for hours upon hours to get gorgeous, velvety prints like
James Hajicek and his partner Carol Panero-Smith? They were really
beautiful in person--their work as well as themselves. And Joe Babcock
with his pinhole suitcase camera took the group portrait, very fitting.
We got to see Robb Kendricks' Cowboy project, and when I saw it in
National Geographic I had no idea the extent of his project on the North
American Cowboy--and the fact that he has a full custom trailer that he
tows behind his vehicle that has a stainless steel darkroom in it. I
think that is what I especially enjoyed is each speaker's (and most
conference-goers') intense commitment to her/his process of choice.
Which reminds me that in the bestseller book on Outliers it says to become
an expert at something takes something like 10,000 hr---don't know the
particulars of how that figure was derived but I can believe it.....
We got to hear Dan Estabrook talk about his work--I've always loved it,
and had just showed the video on him to my alt students, but his lecture
was way better than his video (BTW a DVD I really like as well is What
Remains about Sally Mann--doing her large wet plates. She went way up in
my estimation after seeing that DVD).
It was so neat to see people in person I only had read about/seen work in
books--Martha Casanave was in my gum class and I have always loved her
evocative pinholes. Finally got to meet Jill Enfield in person as well as
Jesseca Ferguson. Elizabeth Opalenik gave a really great lecture about
mordancage and her journey with the process all these years. Jerry
Spagnoli, Mark Osterman and France Scully-Osterman...Mark who had just had
the pleasure of meeting Judy Siegel at none other than the TruthBeauty
show...like I say it is a small world. Michelle Bates showed her great
body of Holga work, and she has this little teeny weeny rolliflex digicam
that she hangs from her neck that must be about...1x1x2"??? Martha Madigan
shared her work so extensively and from the heart, it is just so much
better to hear an artist talk about their work over the whole of it like
she did and Mark did because you get a much clearer picture of the whole
person and not just an image or two. Oh, I could continue on and on but
you get the picture.
I loved the city of Pittsburgh--very photogenic. Wish I would have
scheduled a day for photographing :(
And the food is EXCELLENT there and quite reasonably priced! Zarra's
Italian restaurant was so good I had to drag a group back there the next
night. Driest red wine there I have ever had (Moltepiciano??? might be
The Carnegie-Mellon University is also a great site for a conference, and
a mile or so from the hotel so it forced us to exercise twice a day. Lots
of great little places to eat surrounding the hotel so a car wasn't
necessary, especially since the hotel shuttled us all over if we needed
Pittsburgh Filmmakers where we all did our workshops was glorious, even
with a vegan chef in a little cafe in-house there who makes great hummus
wraps and couscous. It's always scary to enter a facility to teach gum
because you just never know how the rooms are set up, especially when you
need a computer lab, classroom space AND darkroom/dimroom with running
water, but this place had all and then even an assigned assistant each
day!! I'm not used to that kind of luxury.
Our world, and such as this list is, is such a fascinating slice of
Tom apparently is taking next year off but I think it is a must-do in
2011...it'd be like an APIS of the northeast if APIS is too far for some
If I had any criticism it would be that I forgot to take an umbrella and
had to buy one for one of the days. And I should have brought better
Christina Z. Anderson