Image-making, research and visual technologies have shaped each other over the past century and a half, argues Geoffrey Belknap, marking Nature’s anniversary, here
Recently, Sarah Lewis, a Harvard professor organized a two-day Vision and Justice conference on the role of the arts in relation to citizenship, race, and justice. As it turned out, she experienced some of this unconscious bias at this very event. Her essay exploring the relationship between racism and the camera, titled The Racial Bias Built Into Photography, was published by the New York Times on April 25, 2019.
At the conference, a technician categorizing light skin as the norm saw other skin tones as needing special corrective care. As Lewis, a black women, explains:
“My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University. It also happened to be the subject of my presentation that day.”
What stands out in her article is how she interweaves a personal example of the how unconscious bias is built into photography, (and I would add life itself) into the larger culture. In a nut shell, she asks: “What is preventing us from correcting the inherited bias in camera and film technology?” Continue reading “Vision and Justice: The Racial Bias Built Into Photography”
CALL FOR PROPOSALS:
Submission Deadline: Monday, June 3, 2019
The Newberry Seminar in American Art and Visual Culture is open to those working in the art history and visual culture of the United States, from the colonial era to the present. They are inviting papers that cross and challenge borders both within and outside the discipline that engage questions of methodology and ideology, examine exhibition and provenance history, probe the categories of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and reflect critically on the state and outlook of the field.
They also welcome topics focusing on Chicago art and design within the larger national and international contexts, such as: thematic studies on world’s fairs, Chicago’s Gilded Age, institutional/private/corporate display practices, urban landscapes, African-American art past and present, and self-taught artists.