"I want my MTV?" Not this summer when the new music catchphrase will be "I want my ASP." Via the above 30 second video teaser, take a peek at what you'll see when Who Shot Rock & Roll rolls into the Annenberg Space for Photography this summer. Mark your calendars for opening day: June 23.
Dennis Dimick returned for a fourth visit to our Space
- this time to gave a special inside-edition lecture about National Geographic 's current magazine issue,
" and other environmentally-focused previous issues.
Dimick was National Geographic magazine's representative who first brought the concept of the special Water issue to our board last year as a potential exhibit and partnership between National Geographic magazine and the Annenberg Space for Photography. He told us that his original presentation was based on a feature story from 1992 that he edited for the magazine about the coming freshwater crisis. Prescient!
He came for a second visit once the Water issue was coming together with actual images from around the world to show to us
... and of course he was here a third time for our opening in March. Now he returned to discuss National Geographic magazine's leadership in combining photojournalism with environmental issues to study our planet's fragile state.
As the executive editor in the area of environmental issues, it is clear that Dennis' dedication to these issues has brought National Geographic well-deserved praise.
Along with a catalogue of some amazing photographs, he brought a surprising tone of practicality to the endless debate of going green and going greener
- or as Dennis puts it, moving from competition to collaboration and learning to do better with the resources you already have. His inspiration, he said, was rooted in his own upbringing on a farm
...and his own personal journey shifted
- as did the journeys of many of us attending
- when he first encountered the famous image of the Earth from space on the cover of the Whole Earth Catalog.
Covering some dense perspectives of our current environmental challenges, i.e., responsible disposal of electronic waste or recyclables, Dennis began the lecture with some personal inspirations that have led to his part in the creation of National Geographic 's stories.
Our growing population,
and the attendant rise in CO2 output,
the frightening reminders of our shrinking glaciers,
and the resulting climate changes that have brought about new flooding,
as well as new droughts,
and draining reservoirs.
It wasn't what I would call a feel-good lecture but it was amazingly clear, level-headed and informative. This is a testament to the clarity with which Dennis approaches the global view of our climate changes and water crises.
Dennis was cool enough to hang out after the lecture to answer questions and view photographic work of lecturer goers, including some large prints in 3D by photographer Stuart Sperling.
Thank you for coming back Dennis
...your presence is always welcome here!
Stephen James O'Meara, one of our Extreme Exposure featured photographers, was the first IRIS Nights lecturer in our new series. O'Meara and his wife Donna (who graced us with her presence at our opening night) have lived on a volcano for the past 30 years. You read right - they not only take pictures of volcanoes erupting around the globe, they LIVE atop an active one.
Stephen's lecture was called
"Does the Moon Affect Volcanoes on Earth?
- which if you attended you now know is not such a wild subject. Stephen is an animated speaker who is incredibly inspired by his studies. He also happens to be an astronomer, so no one could be better prepared to answer this question. Stephen explained how the Moon affects tidal flows of water, but also of the Earth crust itself.
He went into great detail about how the tides of the Earth's crust rise and fall at regular interval, but when the Earth is closest to the Moon (perigee) those tides are more rapid and when the Earth is farthest from the Moon (apogee) the tides of the crust grow more slow.
The best part was how he demonstrated this change by condensing the daily and monthly tidal intervals by breathing in and out. It was an incredibly simplified demonstration but it made very clear what the effect Moon has on tides (both water and crust) and therefore on the probability of volcanic eruptions.
Steve seemed like he was about to erupt a few times!
It was a great pleasure listening to such an informed and inspiring individual. I can't believe we've never had a Vulcanologist/Astronomer lecture here before!
Thanks to everyone who made Father's Day at the Space a huge success. We had almost 900 visitors come to celebrate the holiday and check out our immensely popular BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit. Staff members took complimentary photographs of guests who visited that day and free refreshments were served as well.
We hope everyone had a spectacular Father's day!
Not many of our guest lecturers visit the Space to present a collection of images focusing on environmentally-polluted sites and then disassociate their work from the larger effort of global advocacy
...especially in regards to our world's water crisis.
But in the case of New York-born Princeton and Harvard grad David Maisel, when it comes to his photography, his work neither represents answers to a conflict nor offers any resolution other than a sense of poetic truth.
...if this is your position David, then thou ART as wise as thou ART beautiful!
Maisel's aerial photographs of sites where the natural ecological order has been eradicated are images of a stunning atrocity.
At first glance, you see a brilliant photograph of splattered colors,
but upon further examination, the photo actually depicts a man-made sea of toxic minerals destroying our environment.
A bittersweet presentation, Maisel's work
- titled Black Maps
- is a visually emotional creation that does more than just leave an impression
...it speaks to the soul.
If you missed the lecture, this is unfortunately one time when you won't be able to watch it online.
However, we will be posting an audio file and a transcript,
as well as a gallery of more photos.
But you must see the work
...it's truly unique.
Afterward, David was extremely genial and approachable.
He answered questions, chatted with guests
...signed some copies of his book Oblivion
then bid us all goodbye and good night.
(All photos © Unique for the Space)
Photographer Aaron Huey's life simply screams adventure. He has shot for such for places all over the world for such high-profile publications as National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
Aaron began his IRIS Nights lecture reflecting on the theme of the current exhibition at the Space:
" He defines
We all go for walks, but nothing compares to how Aaron goes about doing it
- he really goes for a walk! He spent a good portion of his lecture on his series of photographs that focused on his trek across America in 2002. He and his dog, Cosmo, spent 154 days covering 3,349 miles from California to New York, walking every step of the way. That's sure to put some good wear and tear on your sneakers!
Aaron explained that this walk was not a photo project but
" It was a way for him to help clear his thoughts. He walks
"to be in the great unknown.
Like most of us, Aaron has a million things going through his mind at once and he wanted to purge these overwhelming thoughts. He provided a humorous (yet not too far-fetched!) visual of what his thought process looks like.
" slide above proves, humor is a big part of Aaron's personality and was also a big part of his lecture. He had the audience in stitches throughout!
In attendance that night was journalist and friend of the photographer, Alex Chadwick.
While traveling across America, Aaron revealed that, due to the generosity of the people he encountered, he only spent $250 dollars of his own money during his entire trip across America. He took people up on their charitable offers to feed him and put him up in their homes for the night. What did he get offered the most? Beer, bibles as well as other leisurely diversions.
Aaron also talked about the time he has spent documenting the people of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. It's a place he cares deeply about and he travels there several times a year.
Here's Aaron with the Annenberg Foundation's Charles Weingarten, who stopped by to say hello after the lecture. We're sure the two swapped quite a few stories about their own travels around the world!
You did such a great job at IRIS Nights, Aaron and best of luck on your next adventure! If you go for another long walk, remember to invest in a good pair of sneakers!
(All images by Unique for the Space)
Model and actress Amber Valletta, who popped into the Space recently to take in BEAUTY CULTURE, poses in front of a photograph of herself featured in the exhibit.
Spotted at the Space just this past weekend was a living music legend - Mick Jagger!
Over the course of the current exhibition's IRIS Nights lecture series, we've had an incredible opportunity to get to know and love the staff of one of our favorite magazines
- National Geographic .
The behind-the-scenes stories of how NatGeo photographers capture those unparalleled moments of our changing world almost rivals the wonder of viewing the photographs published in the magazine.
So it comes as no surprise that our final executive guest lecturer from National Geographic , Director of Photography David Griffin
...was greeted by a VERY full house last Thursday at the Space.
David delivered that sought-after narrative, bringing us inside National Geographic and answered questions from the audience including the ultimate
...how to become a National Geographic photographer?
Wallis Annenberg, Neil Leifer,
and Michael Robinson Chávez
were all in attendance at the Space for David's lecture and multimedia presentation.
Along with the first-hand stories from the front lines,
David brought video footage and behind-the-scenes stills of NatGeo photographers chasing the moments,
capturing the extraordinary,
and covering over 100 years of published issues.
The lecture was at times funny,
at times frightening,
at times instructive,
and all in all, totally awe-inspiring.
Thank you David Griffin!
(All images © Unique for the Space)
More than half of the elephants in the world have been massacred over the last 30 years. Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson want to do as much as they can to help reverse this alarming trend through the advocacy work and their photography. They explained in last night's lecture exactly how important these creatures have been to the planet and its people.
This husband and wife team has passed their passion for these majestic animals on to their young son, Lysander. The young advocate opened his parent's lecture with a message:
"You should not do to elephants what you don't want the elephants to do to you.
" Such enlightened words from such a young man!
What makes this duo such a great team? The fact that, as Marie noted, Cyril is the
" during the lecture and she makes sure that the photography slideshow chugs along at a good clip. They work together as smoothly as a well oiled machine!
Cyril and Marie explained how they were unsuccessful photographing a magical moment of two lions swimming in the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe but not to worry: they have captured plenty of other shots, some of which include animals which have
" for the photographers, such as the bull elephants above. But they do try to discourage their subjects because they like to be as spontaneous as possible.
Here's a beautiful spontaneous shot taken by them during a dust storm in Kilimanjaro.
Said Cyril during the lecture:
"Let's hope we've started a stampede.
" The kind of stampede he's referring to is one of action from people all over the world to save Asian and African elephants.
Just because her husband is a
" doesn't mean that Marie had plenty to say during the lecture. She informed the crowd how they can help save the world's elephants: by educating yourself, re-connecting with nature and saying positive prayers.
Cyril and Marie were generous enough to discuss their work with some of the folks in attendance after the lecture. Thanks to both of you for such an enlightening night!
We'll leave you with a fun shot of the youngest elephant rights advocate we know. And remember,
"You should not do to elephants what you don't want the elephants to do to you!
(All images by Unique for the Space)
It was my first week on the job interning for the Annenberg Foundation and already I was sent to cover one of our IRIS Nights lectures, a favorite among dedicated fans.
That night Mark Laita spoke about his new photobook, Created Equal, a collection of black and white photo diptychs contrasting the portraits of everyday Americans by putting, for example, a picture of Baptist minister next to members of the Ku Klux Klan or nuns next to prostitutes. The inspiration for the project is incredible: Laita left behind his polished life in the advertising world to find the real America he grew up with, the one he wanted to make sure the world would never forget.
But what stuck out to me was not necessarily his professional or captivating photos (which are absolutely incredible) but the way he engaged us in the process. I found myself leaning forward, completely engrossed in every word, waiting on the edge of my seat for the next description of the photo pair.
His tales of having breakfast with the Hell's Angels, coercing an Amish man into being photographed or becoming best buds with some weed farmers had me and the rest of the audience rolling in laughter. It felt like you were getting to know his subjects personally and the portraits became more than pictures, they were real life people who were living in the same country as myself. But that was the point. He wanted to elevate the raw and rugged America to a place of glamor and importance.
"I was trying to find hidden gems that are normally overlooked," said Laita during his presentation, "It's not about finding these grand/great people, it's about finding the ordinary people and making them look great."
Later someone from the audience asked him what statement he was trying to make with comparing nuns to prostitutes. Laita just smiled and said he meant to pass no judgment; he simply wanted to ask the question, "How then can two girls grow up in the same county and have two completely different fates?"
And from where I was sitting it was mission accomplished for every picture I saw I asked myself the same question. There are two men who look strikingly similar and I asked myself so how is it that one became a CEO and the other a janitor?
Learn more about Mark on his official website.
(All lecture images by Unique for the Space)