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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nick Olson's lecture

                                     Photography from Nick Olson, from Nick's Website
Nick Olson, 2008 alumni from Lawrence came to speak about his work on monday night. Nick works with a very old photographic process called collodion tintypes, which is not done by many artists in the contemporary world. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this fascinating lecture due to lovely airport delays, but reading about his work through his website and what I heard from students in and out of class, as well as talking to the artist himself these are my reflections...

I think that his decision to use such an old technique really fits well with the concepts behind his work. He says in his artist statement as well as in person that it is largely about him creating an "object" as well as an image for the viewer to experience. This process creates more of an object you hold in your hand and interact with rather than the viewing experience of a silver gelatin or even more recently an image on a computer screen would be viewed quite differently.

I also related a lot to his ideas about space and how one reacts to their environment changing based on our cultural time. I think bringing up the Thoreau stuff is a little "overdone" but at the same time his work does relate to that within a more contemporary context so I don't have too much to complain about that.

Overall, really nice guy to talk with and I really liked his work.

1 comment:

  1. His decision to master the wet plate collodion process came early on and has continued to use it as a critical part of his art-making. In grad school it seems he was alone in this pursuit while his colleagues poured over their screens. The various approaches create stimulating discourse.