F295 Symposium: Photography Beyond Technique

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Frick Fine Arts & Pittsburgh Filmmakers

May 29 – June 1

Various times

Pittsburgh has a rich legacy in terms of being home to pioneering photographers—from Teenie Harris and W. Eugene Smith, to Dorothea Lange and Aaronel deRoy Gruber.

The city is also the setting for a one-of-a-kind annual symposium that serves as a hub for a global contemporary photography community called F295. Founded by Pittsburgh-based photographer  Tom Persinger in 2004, F295, along with its accompanying symposia and seminar series, works to promote the exploration of 21st-century photography.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in June, F295 is hosting the multi-faceted symposium, Photography Beyond Technique. Running May 29th through June 1st at the Frick Fine Arts Building and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the event marks the 6th symposium in Pittsburgh organized by the group. Assembling a diverse and creative group of artists, photographers, writers, curators and historians in Pittsburgh, the annual gathering turns its focus to the exploration of contemporary photographic practice during a time of unprecedented change.

The symposium features receptions, lectures, portfolio reviews, workshops and an industry trade show—as well as two seminars on Saturday that are free and open to the public.

Over the course of four days, practicing photographers from around the US will share insights into their working methods and will discuss how their decisions are informed by a “unique dialogue that exists between subject, content and photographic process.” Attendees will have the opportunity to experiment with creative ideas and techniques and network with others in the field.

Hands-on workshop topics include: albumen printing; carbon transfer printing; environmental portraiture; inkjet paper; and fine art paper.

It kicks off on May 29th with an opening reception at University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Building, which will include open portfolio sharing, networking and an industry trade show. Attendees will also have the chance to see an exhibition of photographs by the award-winning American art photographer Ralph Gibson, and hear Brooklyn-based photographer Joni Sternbach discuss the creation of her compelling body of work entitled, Surfland. Sternbach uses the wet plate collodion process to document surfing culture around the world, capturing a spirit of freedom and adventure.

Speakers and presentation titles include: Edward James Bateman (Salt Lake City, UT): Forgotten histories and Mechanical Memories: Constructing the Past; Dan Herrera (Sacramento, CA): The Aesthetics of the Pretend; Joe Mills (Virginia): Giving Flesh to the Infinite/The Transcendence of Preferences; Alison Rossiter (Ohio): Expiration; and more.

The world’s largest organization dedicated to the discussion, practice and advancement of 21st-century photography, F295 has hosted 100 lectures, dozens of workshops and 11 exhibitions since its inception one decade ago.

View a complete schedule of symposium events and register online.

Photograph by Dan Herrera.