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Conversations with Colleagues

Semester's First Standish Talk Features Danny Goodwin on Wednesday

Artist Danny Goodwin, seen with one of his works, will speak on photography and images on Feb. 28 in the Standish Room. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 22, 2018) – The death and rebirth of photography, portraits of Mexico, and the environmental history uncovered in the laundry room – these are the jumping-off points for this semester’s “Campus Conversations in Standish.” The Conversations are a chance for you to hear what your colleagues are studying and thinking about in a relaxed setting.

The free series, launched by the University Libraries in Spring 2015 to raise awareness of UAlbany faculty research and expertise and connect members of the UAlbany community, is held on selected Wednesdays, 12:35-1:30 p.m. in the Patricia and J. Spencer Standish Board Room on the third level of the Science Library.

First in this semester’s series is Danny Goodwin, associate professor of photography and related media in the Department of Art and Art History, on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

His topic: “Photography is Dead. Long Live Photography! Veracity in the Age of the Post-Photographic (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Image Search).”

For Goodwin, the object is currency, part of a systematic staging, and his own photographs meld what we see and what we think we see. His subjects include hand-constructed environments and objects that impersonate their virtual counterparts, revealing the circular logic in today’s fascination with technologies such as 3D printing, the “internet of things,” artificial intelligence and the “crisis of confidence” facing photography.

Through his research-based practice, Goodwin asks: How do we come to know what we think we know and what does that have to do with photography?

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Ilke Kressner, top, will speak on March 28 and Kendra Smith-Howard, on April 4. 

On March 28, travel to Mexico with Ilka Kressner, associate professor of Hispanic and Italian studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, as she speaks on “Photographic Contact Zones – The Mexican Travel Photographs by Fritz Neugass.”

The images by German-born Jewish American émigré photographer Fritz Neugass (1899-1979) invite the viewer to experience travel photography in relation to dominant practices associated with the genre. Neugass’s portraits, which reveal less-studied facets of history and show marginal perspectives, can be viewed as visual bridges between cultures.

Neugass’s portraits are part of the German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collection in the University Libraries’ M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives.

The final Standish Conversation will be held April 4, as Kendra Smith-Howard unlocks history from the cleaning closet. Smith-Howard, and associate professor of History, will speak on “Finding Nature in Unexpected Places: What Cleaning Closets and Laundry Rooms Tell Us About American Environmental History.”

Smith-Howard notes that when we want to learn about nature, our first instinct is to head to the nearest conservation preserve, not to hunker down inside our homes. But the indoor spaces in which Americans spend much of our time reveal much about our relationship with our environment.

Her talk will trace the development of a few illustrative examples of changing cleaning technologies Americans adopted in the 20th century — from sanitizers to disposable diapers — and explain how their use transformed American forests, fields and rivers over the past 100 years.

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