H82.1650 Lecture 2 Credits
Offered Spring only. Prerequisite: Junior standing and 2 critical studies courses. This course may be repeated for credit.
Photographic media participates in a pervasive, diverse and influential manner in contemporary society. As a means of considering the relevant issues of photography, this course will derive from a series of weekly lectures offered by established practitioners and professionals.
The Making of Iconic Images
This interdisciplinary colloquium explores the range of ideas and methods used by photographers, artists, historians and critical thinkers in addressing the notion of iconic images. Iconic images are
pictures that become rooted in our personal memory, photographs are stored away for future reference through our experiences with them. How do icons emerge from the billions of images that surround us? What makes an image iconic? How are icons viewed cross-culturally and over time? Why do some help end wars, and other very similar images are ignored? To what extent can an image-maker aim towards creating an icon, or is there no way of approaching the goal? How is it done in advertising, where a Nike swoosh can be made into an icon? Guest Lecturers will focus on their work - writings, pictures. The primary focus of the class is to critique the idea of iconic images. W. J. T. Mitchell, poses
provocative questions regarding images such as: Why do we have such extraordinarily powerful responses toward the images and pictures we see in everyday life? Why do we behave as if pictures were alive, possessing the power to influence us, to demand things from us, to persuade us, seduce us, or even lead us astray? We will examine the salient features of the iconic image and encourage comparative approaches to the diverse approaches to types of imagery.
In past semesters’ series, guests to the class have included Joel Agee, Hilton Als, Larry Clark, Sheryl Conkelton, John Coplans, Stephen Frailey, Jim Goldberg, Nan Goldin, Andy Grundberg, Renee Iijima, Larry Krone, Michael Lesy, Michael Martone, Susan Meiselas, Vic Muñiz, Dread Scott, Bruce Davidson, Shirin Neshat, Maggie Steber, Larry Sultan, Penelope Umbrico, Renee Cox, and Wendy Ewald.