As a somewhat belated attempt to keep in touch with everybody who haven’t seen me for a while, here’s a brief look back at 2018.
What did I do in 2018?
Apart from making progress with my doctoral dissertation at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, under ever so patient guidance by Siona Wilson, I’ve visited quite a lot of art spaces and art exhibitions across the US and Asia. I’m continuously sharing my experience with art and architecture on my Instagram account.
In 2018, I’ve published eight journal articles and book chapters (links go to more info and pdfs):
1) “The Selfie: More and Less than a Self-Portrait” in Moritz Neumüller, ed., Routledge Companion to Photography and Visual Culture (London, New York: Routledge, 2018), 44–58. I started working on this article in 2016, and it took two years for the actual book to come out, as it often is the case with academic publications;
2) "Competitive Photography and the Presentation of the Self" (co-written with 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, 2018), 167-187. We started working on this article also back in 2016;
3) "Seeing a Century Through the Lens of Sovetskoe Foto, Cultural Analytics Lab, July 31, 2018;
4) "The Myth of Straight Photography: Sharp Focus as a Universal Language," FK Magazine, January 18, 2018;
5) "The Family of Man: The Photography Exhibition that Everybody Loves to Hate," FK Magazine, July 2, 2018;
6) "Machines, Methods, and Humans: On the Production Line of Contemporary Photography" Fotografija 35, no. 1 (2018): 44-46, special edition “New Tools in Photography: From Google to the Algorithm” edited by Paul Paper;
7) "Fifty Year Eclipse: Illuminating the Forgotten Legacy of Photographer Vilis Rīdzenieks" in Katrīna Teivāne-Korpa, ed., Vilis Rīdzenieks (Riga: Neputns, 2018);
8) and finally, a speculative essay “Five Sensational Tweets about Photographs That I Have Not Seen” in Latvian Photography 2018 Yearbook (Riga: FK, 2018).
I’ve spoken in two events:
1) I presented my ongoing research in a talk "The Family of Man (1955) and the Family of Photographers: Insiders and Outsiders of the Most Famous Photography Exhibition" at the international symposium "Now Memories" in Riga, Latvia, on April 13, 2018. The symposium was part of the Riga Photography Biennial 2018 programming;
2) I discussed the findings of my research while working at the Cultural Analytics Lab in a talk "The Networked Camera: Mapping the Universe of Instagram Photography" at the panel Social Media in Theory & Praxis: What Is at Stake Now? at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, on April 18, 2018.
Moreover, I’ve been busy working on a few other projects that will see their completion in 2019 or later. For example:
1) I’ve been researching and drafting an article, provisionally titled “Brazilian Participation in the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), 1950–1965” for a book about photography in Brazil, Fotografia Moderna (provisional title), edited by Helouise Costa and Heloísa Espada to be published by Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo, Brazil, in 2021;
2) I’ve been working on an article titled “Following the Invisible Hand: The Role of Photo Clubs, Magazines, Exhibitions, and Curators in Latvian Photography, 1960–2000” for a volume of articles about the twentieth-century art in Latvia, Ten Episodes, edited by Elita Ansone, to be published by Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia, in 2019;
3) I’ve written an introduction to a reprint of a 1951 article by Brazilian photographer and scientist José Oiticica Filho. My introduction, provisionally titled “Modernist Photography, Data Science, and Global Photo Club Culture: An Introduction to José Oiticica Filho’s “Setting the Record Straighter” will accompany the article’s first translation from Portuguese (by Luisa Valle) that I commissioned for a special edition of journal ARTMargins, vol.8, no. 2 (2019), edited by Chelsea Haines and Gemma Sharpe, to be published by the MIT Press;
4) I’ve reviewed and finalized the article "FIAP Biennial in Photokina 1956: A Revolt Against the Universal Language of Photography," accepted for a special thematic edition "The Medium of the Exhibition" of journal The Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones, to be published by Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic.
Happy and productive 2019!