I am an art & photography historian, writer, editor, and curator. Read more about my current work in news: announcements about upcoming talks, new articles and book chapters, research notes about photography on social media and selfies on Instagram in particular, and observations about contemporary art in New York City and elsewhere.
I have been writing about contemporary art, photography, and visual culture since 1998. I am the author of Photography as Art in Latvia, 1960-1969 (2011) and the author or editor of several other books about photography, as well as three fiction books.
In the articles section, see my most recent journal articles, book chapters, catalog essays, and research papers. My articles have appeared in journals such as Networking Knowledge, Scriptus Manet, ARTMargins, Russian Art & Culture, Art History & Theory, Studija, and others. I have presented my research in numerous academic conferences in Europe and the US.
From 2001 to 2008 I was an associate editor of visual arts magazine Studija. In 2005, I established photography magazine Foto Kvartals and served as its editor-in-chief until 2011.
Since 2013, I work as a research assistant to Lev Manovich, professor of Computer Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab (Software Studies Initiative before 2017). While working in the lab, I have co-authored research projects on social media photography such as Selfiecity (2014), Selfiecity London (2015), and The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv (2014). See my publications discussing the findings of these projects in the articles section.
Currently I am a PhD candidate in art history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. My doctoral dissertation, The “Olympiad of Photography”: The International Federation of Photographic Art, 1950–1965, deals with the "international style" of photography of the 1950s that emerged in the photography biennials and yearbooks of the International Federation of Photographic Art.
My curatorial interests are focused on photography and lens-based media. As an independent curator, I have curated several exhibitions featuring contemporary art, photography, and video such as Private. Contemporary Photography from Latvia (Moscow, Russia, 2008) and North by North East, the pavilion of Latvia at the 55th Venice Art Biennale (Venice, Italty, 2013).
In the talks section, read more about the various symposiums and exhibitions in Europe and the US where I have been invited to speak and present my work on history of photography as well as contemporary social media photography.
I have taught undergraduate level art history classes at York College (2012-2013) and Bronx Community College (2013) in New York City, graduate level classes in media theory and history of photography at the University of Liepaja (2010-2011), and undergraduate level history of photography and photography exhibition management classes at the Latvian Culture College (2010-2011) in Latvia.
As it happens: see the latest updates from my Instagram feed below, and feel free to follow and connect.
Contact me for a full CV or other inquiries: atifentale at gradcenter dot cuny dot edu.
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