PGY 2101 - Visual Literacy
Fall 2015
3 credits
Section B (studio)
Assignment: Floridian Stories
Due: Friday December 4th

 "The view of reality as an exotic prize to be tacked down and captured by the diligent hunter-with- a-camera has informed photography from the beginning, and marks the confluence of the Surrealist counter-culture and middle-class social adventurism. Photography has always been fascinated by social heights and lower depths... Gazing on other people's reality with curiosity, with detachment, with professionalism, the ubiquitous photographer operates as if that activity transcends class interests, as if its perspective is universal... The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world "picturesque". The flâneur is not attracted to the city's official realities but to its dark seamy corners, its neglected populations-an unofficial reality behind the façade of bourgeois life that the photographer "apprehends" as a detective apprehends a criminal." (Susan Sontag, On Photography)

 Think about aspects of Florida that may be unknown to most people, but are relevant to you. Look at your surroundings in a critical way. Dig into your past or that of your family and town. Explore stories you may have heard. Think that Florida is perhaps the quintessential site where surrealism found its final incarnation. Explore the paradigmatic character of Florida as a scenario where contradictory forces coexist in various layers of the social and cultural strata. Get out with your camera on regular basis and explore, look for sites, situations, things, people and anecdotes. Plan on taking at least 20 photographs per day. This assignment entails the production of a photo portfolio that presents a cohesive personal and critical vision of Florida both technically and conceptually. For this assignment you will have to produce a portfolio of 30 final images. There will be work in progress critiques of this project throughout the semester.

These images will have to be selected after rejecting many unsuccessful ones and after receiving intense critical feedback in class. The assignment is due on the Friday December 4th.

Recommended readings: Carl Hiassen: Tourist Season, Stormy Weather, Strip Tease, LuckyYou. Harry Crews: The biography of a place, The gypsy’s curse, Car. Jean Baudrilliard: America, Cool memories.

PS. No photos of yourself, your friends, your house, or your pets. Get out of your immediate world! No photos printed at Kinkoʼ s or any other commercial outlet will be accepted.

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