"What you're working on these days?" people often ask, adding "I haven't heard from your for a while." To answer this question at least partly, here I quickly summarize some of what I've been doing in 2017.
I presented my research in three scholarly conferences:
1) “The ‘Cosmopolitan Art:’ The FIAP Yearbooks of Photography, 1954–60” at the 105th Annual CAA Conference, New York City, February 17,
2) "The Misunderstood 'Universal Language' of Photography: The Fourth FIAP Biennial, 1956" at the conference Art, Institutions, and Internationalism: 1933–1966, New York City, March 7,
3) "Bandeirante photographers in global context: Brazilian participation in the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), 1950–1965" at the conference In Black and White: Photography, Race, and the Modern Impulse in Brazil at Midcentury, New York City, May 3, 2017.
I also co-organized a conference. Together with Patricia Manos, Rachel Wetzler, and Patryk Tomaszewski we organized a graduate student conference Revolution in the Margins, 1917-2017: Modern and Contemporary Art from Eastern, Central, and South Eastern Europe which took place at the Graduate Center, City University of New York on October 13.
Published six research articles and book chapters:
1) book chapter “Photography in Latvia, 1970–2000,” in Václav Macek, ed., The History of European Photography 1970–2000.
2) research article “Rules of the Photographers’ Universe,” Photoresearcher (journal of the European Society for the History of Photography), No. 27.
3) research article "Into the Photographers’ Universe: What Separates Photographers from Artists?" in Latvian Photography Yearbook 2017 (Riga: FK, 2017).
4) research article "Underexposed Photographers: Life Magazine and Photojournalists’ Social Status in the 1950s," FK Magazine, November 23.
5) exhibition review of Anri Sala: Answer Me at the New Museum, CAA.Reviews, April 27.
6) essay "The Past is Present: Time and Space in Māra Brašmane’s Photographs of the Riga Central Market," in Central Market, a photo-book by Māra Brašmane, edited by Vladimir Svetlov and Anna Volkova, and designed by Alexey Murashko. Riga: Orbita, 2017.
In addition, I contributed to a few side projects, including these:
1) presented a brief talk in a conference dedicated to the Brazilian photographer José Oiticica Filho (Rio de Janeiro, 1906–1964) coinciding with an exhibition of his work in Galeria MaPA, São Paulo, Brazil.
2) wrote a wall text for the exhibition History of the Photo Club "Riga" at the Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga, Latvia.
3) my article "Into the Photographers’ Universe: What Separates Photographers from Artists?" was translated into Spanish and published in October 18, 2017 edition of MALBA Diario, the online magazine of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina.
What will I do in 2018?
A few articles and book chapters are already in the works - in print or under final revisions:
1) book chapter in a peer-reviewed volume: “The Selfie: More and Less than a Self-Portrait” in Moritz Neumüller, ed., The Routledge Companion to Photography and Visual Culture (London, New York: Routledge).
2) book chapter in a peer-reviewed volume: "Competitive Photography and the Presentation of the Self" (co-author Lev Manovich) in Jens Ruchatz, Sabine Wirth, and Julia Eckel, eds., Exploring the Selfie: Historical, Analytical, and Theoretical Approaches to Digital Self-Photography (Palgrave Macmillan).
3) research article "The Myth of Straight Photography: Sharp Focus as a Universal Language," FK Magazine.
4) research article "Photokina 1956: A Revolt Against the Universal Language of Photography," forthcoming in the special thematic edition "The Medium of the Exhibition" of peer-reviewed journal The Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones.
5) research article "The Family of Man: Photography Exhibition that Everybody Loves to Hate," FK Magazine.
Happy and productive New Year to everybody! And don't forget to try to match your selfie to thousands of artworks hosted by Google Arts and Culture Institute: g.co/arts/selfie