An essay by VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn in Vision Anew, from UC Press

We are happy to announce that Tom Huhn, the Chair of Visual & Critical Studies, has contributed an essay on the fate of photography to the new collection of essays on the lens and screen arts. (See below for more information on the book.)

vision anew

The following description of Vision Anew is quoted from the University of California Press website. (Click on the cover image or the link above to visit the site.)

Vision Anew
The Lens and Screen Arts

Adam Bell (Editor), Charles H. Traub (Editor)
Available worldwide
Paperback, 312 pages
ISBN: 9780520284708
May 2015
$34.95, £24.95

[Hardcover edition here]

“A valuable, timely, and stimulating collection.”—Geoff Dyer, author of The Ongoing Moment

Vision Anew is a remarkable compendium of important artists, practitioners, theorists, and essayists, who muse on what constitutes creativity in the lens and screen arts today. The book reveals how the intersection of a mobile Internet with photography and video has radically changed what we expect from the witnessing camera. I think this book is destined to be essential reading for all those thinking about the future of our visual culture.”—Mark Lubell, Executive Director, International Center of Photography

“Brings together prophetic historic texts with the best of recent thinking to create an essential reader. This book provides a critical framework that genuinely supports a creative life in photography; its pluralism in the range of ideas and voices speaks out for what is new and what is enduring in the vital dynamics of photographic culture.”—Charlotte Cotton, author of The Photograph as Contemporary Art

The ubiquity of digital images has profoundly changed the responsibilities and capabilities of anyone and everyone who uses them. Thanks to a range of innovations, from the convergence of moving and still image in the latest DSLR cameras to the growing potential of interactive and online photographic work, the lens and screen have emerged as central tools for many artists. Vision Anew brings together a diverse selection of texts by practitioners, critics, and scholars to explore the evolving nature of the lens-based arts.

Presenting essays on photography and the moving image alongside engaging interviews with artists and filmmakers, Vision Anew offers an inspired assessment of the medium’s ongoing importance in the digital era. Contributors include Ai Weiwei, Gerry Badger, David Campany, Lev Manovich, Christian Marclay, László Moholy-Nagy, Walter Murch, Trevor Paglen, Pipilotti Rist, Shelly Silver, Rebecca Solnit, and Alec Soth, among others. This vital collection is essential reading for artists, educators, scholars, critics, and curators, and anyone who is passionate about the lens-based arts.


Adam Bell is a photographer and writer. Coeditor of The Education of a Photographer, he has written for numerous publications, including Afterimage, The Brooklyn Rail, The Art Book Review,FOAM Magazine, photo-eye, and Paper Journal. He is currently on staff and faculty in the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department, School of Visual Arts.

Charles H. Traub is chair of the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department, School of Visual Arts, and president of the Aaron Siskind Foundation. His many books include Dolce Via: Italy in the 80s, The Education of a Photographer, and In the Realm of the Circuit, and his writings have been published in Connoisseur, Fortune, Newsweek, Aperture, U.S. News & World Report, Afterimage, Popular Photography, American Photographer, and The New Yorker.

Opening this Thursday: “Cuts Noon Light” at Brian Morris Gallery, featuring work by Kara Rooney

Kara Rooney, On Moving Farther Away from Speech, or Hindsight is Never Twenty/Twenty, No. 2-3, Plaster, ceramic, resin and digital photograph, Dimensions variable, 2014 (via the Facebook page for "Cuts Noon Light")
Kara Rooney, On Moving Farther Away from Speech, or Hindsight is Never Twenty/Twenty, No. 2-3, Plaster, ceramic, resin and digital photograph, Dimensions variable, 2014 (via Facebook)


This Thursday, May 21st from 7 to 9 pm, Brian Morris Gallery will hold the opening reception for the three-person exhibition “Cuts Noon Light,” featuring artworks by VCS faculty member Kara Rooney and artists Steel Stillman, and Andrew Ginzel.

The following excerpt from the gallery’s press release provides this overview of the show and description of Kara’s work (you can read the rest here):

Animated by its empty center, the work in “Cuts Noon Light” creates a space through its scale shift between tiny details and the vastness of nothing happening. The universe is expanding, and our understanding of the universe expands with it. This exhibition invites us to reflect on all that is known as well as the unknowable. Infinite sides of a clear duality. Reconstructing memories. Deconstructing the Present. At times, manufacturing history. Question everything.

Combine that small patch of negation with the eroticism of translucent fabric and you have an explosion the size of a small star. Pulses quicken at the possibilities–everything we need is right there if we can just catch the light.

Black becomes object, subject and background. It is inserted into what seems to be a familiar scene or removed entirely. Dark matter outweighs visible matter but can only be detected through gravitational effects. Like galaxies, we should have been torn apart long ago. The glossy blacks, photo mattes, and reflections of mirrors used by the artists in this exhibition explore beyond the measured and quantifiable.


Kara Rooney’s sculptures, installations and photographs include fragments of memory imbedded in plaster, isolated atop obsidian platforms. The installation uses these moments of isolation along with thinly veiled scrims to speak to memory’s slippery affect, which shift and morph, like stanzas in a poem, in accordance with their surroundings.

“Cuts Noon Light” will be on display from May 21 through June 20, 2015 at Brian Morris Gallery, located at 163 Chrystie Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets in New York City. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 6 pm. For more information, contact the gallery by phone at 347-261-8228, or by e-mail at


Andrew Ginzel, Cataclysm, 2008 Ink, toner on paper, convex mirror, 18  x 14 in
Andrew Ginzel, Cataclysm, 2008 Ink, toner on paper, convex mirror, 18 x 14 in

Congratulations to the VCS class of 2015!

SVA’s 2015 undergraduate commencement exercises will take place at 2:30 today in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, and we’d like take a moment to congratulate all of our graduating seniors. Well done!

I will post some images and video from the commencement ceremonies as soon as they become available on the SVA website. In the meantime, you can take a look back at prior commencements here, including photo galleries from the Visual & Critical Studies diploma presentation from 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011. There are also a few images of the 2010 commencement ceremonies for our very first graduating class in this VCS blog post.

A slide from last year’s commencement ceremonies.

This Wednesday, May 13th at 8:30 pm: Julia Santoli to perform at the Ende Tymes Festival of Noise and Abstract Liberation

A work-in-progress image of Julia's performance SEREY
A work-in-progress image of Julia Santoli’s performance SEREY

This Wednesday evening, graduating VCS senior Julia Santoli will take part in the opening night’s events for the fifth annual Ende Tymes Festival of Noise and Abstract Liberation with a solo performance at 8:30 pm at Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Avenue in Maspeth Queens. Here’s a schedule of the evening’s performances from the Ende Tymes website. You can also read more about the festival in this post from February.

Wednesday May 13 @ Knockdown ($20 donation at the door)

6:00 PM Opening reception for Festival, with installations by Daniel Neumann, Postcommodity, and Bob Bellerue
7:30 PM Bob Bellerue & Wanda Gala performance
8:00 PM Sputnik Trio (Chile)
8:30 PM Julia Santoli
9:00 PM Timeghost
9:30 PM Lary7
10:00 PM Marcia Bassett & Samara Lubelski
10:30 PM Z’EV
11:00 PM Greg Fox

A full schedule for the entire festival is available on the Ende Tymes website, along with short bios of all of the participants, performance archives from past years’ festivals and information about the history of Noise Art.

Here is Julia’s bio from the site:


Julia Santoli is a multi-media artist based in New York City. Her work synthesizes image, gesture, and sound through interdisciplinary projects navigating memory and presence. She is currently completing her BFA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of Visual Arts; has learned directly as an assistant to Sabisha Friedberg and is receiving vocal instruction by Samita Sinha. More info:



Ende Tymes


Announcing “Via Roaming,” the second annual SVA in Rome student exhibition

Via Roaming invitation

VCS student Victoria Hristoff e-mailed me yesterday from Rome with information about Via Roaming, an upcoming student exhibition staged at Uno Su Nove Gallery to commemorate the end of the second year of the SVA in Rome program. The exhibition will take place from May 11th to May 13th at Uno Su Nove, with a reception from 6 to 8 pm on Monday the 11th. Here is a description of the show from SVA and Uno Su Nove’s press release:

The School of Visual Arts and Uno Su Nove Gallery are proud to announce, Via Roaming, an exhibition featuring students from the School of Visual Arts in Rome.

The exhibition includes works from artists who have resided in Rome for a five-month period. Thus, the notion of temporary relocation is of central importance. Collectively, they all inhabit a foreign country together. Yet each artist holds his or her own separate chain of experiences. These differences in experience both overlap and separate according to time and place.

The artists have created works existing in the ecotones of community and individual existence. The intimacy of the studio space has encouraged the conscious and subconscious integration of aesthetic and conceptual qualities. However, as a continuous dialogue within the studio arises, the artists have focused on personal experience above all. This attention to the subjective, within a larger discourse, allows Via Roaming to yield the eclecticism that it does. Approaching old habits with new perspectives, the artists begin to understand the personal development that derives from relocation—and just how many hands can come from that.

Additional information about Via Roaming and SVA in Rome and images from this year’s session are available on the program’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Uno Su Nove is located in Palazzo Santacroce, Via degli Specchi 20 in Rome, and can be reached by phone at +39 06 97613696 or e-mail at

Over the course of the summer, I will post a few more entries here about the SVA in Rome program and some of the VCS students who have participated in it.