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Aperture Magazine Live

Documentary, Expanded: Interventions in Social Media

Tuesday, February 25

6:30 pm

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore 547 West 27th Street New York, NY


This event is free for students with ID and Members of Aperture at the $50 level and above.

Susan Meiselas in Conversation with Lev Manovich and Teru Kuwayama

The Spring 2014 issue of Aperture magazine, produced in collaboration with guest editor Susan Meiselas and Magnum Foundation, explores how the ground for socially engaged documentary storytelling has radically shifted over the last decade and how photographers might adapt. This event presents two practitioners who extend the language of documentary by harnessing social media in novel ways. Lev Manovich’s data visualizations reveal how the billions of images uploaded to social-media sites reflect more than our photographic habits, offering what he terms a “mega-documentary.” Teru Kuwayama is one of the minds behind Basetrack, a social-media experiment launched in 2010 that connected soldiers stationed in Afghanistan with their families back in the States until it was put on hold in 2011. Moderated by Susan Meiselas, Manovich and Kuwayama will discuss opportunities for rethinking contemporary documentary practice.

This program is co-presented by Aperture Foundation, Magnum Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project.

Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (2005), and The Language of New Media (2001), which was described as “the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and a director of the Software Studies Initiative, which works on the analysis and visualization of big cultural data. In 2013, he appeared on Complex’s list titled “25 People Shaping the Future of Design.”

Teru Kuwayama is an American photojournalist based in New York with an interest in covering international crises. He was a 2013 Hoover Institution William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellow, and was selected as a TED Senior Fellow in 2012 and a TEDGlobal Fellow in 2010. He was also a 2010 Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University, and a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2009. He won the Knight News Challenge Award in 2010.

Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer and a member of Magnum Photos since 1976. She is the author of Carnival Strippers, Nicaragua, El Salvador: The Work of 30 Photographers, Chile from Within, Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History, Pandora’s Box, and Encounters with the Dani. In 2007, Meiselas and fellow members of Magnum Photos formed the Magnum Foundation to support the production of documentary photography and use of visual imagery to promote positive social change. She currently serves as the Foundation’s executive director and is an active board member. Her awards include the Robert Capa Gold Medal, Leica Award for Excellence, Maria Moors Cabot Prize, Hasselblad Award, Cornell Capa Infinity Award, Lucie Award for Achievement in Photojournalism, Kraszna-Krausz And/Or Book Award, and LUMA Historical Book Award. In 1992, she was made a MacArthur Fellow. Her photographs are included in several American and international collections.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the board and members of Aperture Foundation.



Documentary, Expanded: Interventions in Social Media