Connecting Ends

Introduction


In 2013 the one-billionth photo was shared on Instagram; Facebook became the largest repository of photographic images in the world with over 325 billion pictures being posted, liked, and tagged. The images uploaded on social media range from cats and coffee to world events including the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the complexities of the Arab Spring. Many of these images are captured, processed, and shared with smartphones, and iPhonegraphy allows millions of people to enjoy and be inspired by photography on a moment-by-moment basis. From snapshot to a long-term conceptual project, photography is the language of the 21st century.

The students in SVA’s MPS Digital Photography department are fluent in hardware and software technology, but more importantly, they share a brave passion for exploration, collaboration, and critical dialogue to expand the power of photography. The 2013 thesis exhibition, Connecting Ends highlights the development and growth of a diverse group of students who have created deeply personal work that addresses fears, insecurities, relationships, mourning and personal turmoil. It explores the surface and subsurface of the New York City’s subway system, neighborhoods and nightlife; envisions humanity’s impact on the environment; captures ongoing changes in China and the satisfaction of being a fisherman in Trinidad-Tobago; and addresses how we perceive and represent ourselves through editorial and fashion photography, fine-art compositing and surreal and intimate medical images. It is a brave thesis show that was born out of personal unrest while honoring our common vulnerability and mortality. Although this small book cannot do justice to the growth, bravery, and sleep-deprived nights, it serves as an important document for each artist’s clarity of vision.

The ubiquity and popularity of photography is growing each day, and the more cats and coffee pictures that are posted, the more important the work of these young professionals becomes. It is considered, poignant, and beautifully produced. As technology changes, how we interact with photography changes, and these graduates will all play an important role in the ongoing discourse and development of our visual dialogue.

Katrin Eismann
Chair, MPS Digital Photography
School of Visual Arts, NYC