“The Genius of the System” is a lecture and slide talk concerning the vernacular tradition in American photography. It proposes that regional photographers in the 20th century, far outside the discussions occurring in major cities, were experimenting with the medium in often radical ways. Many of these photographers were little documented—we may not even know their names—and we can have little idea of what they were thinking. Did they comprise a hidden avant-garde? Or was photography itself the disruptive force?
Luc Sante’s books include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and The Other Paris. His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.
Cosponsored by the in American Studies Program, Cinema Studies Program, the Department of English, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities.
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