Photography as Translation: Translation is a common practice in poetry and literature, and adaptation is common in narrative film, but both of these practices are rare in photography. This class asks, "What does it look like to use photography to translate or adapt a text?" Together, we will review artists who use texts as starting points for making images, films or videos. Each student will embark on a semester-long project that adapts a book, poem, manuscript or manifesto into a series of still photographs. We will explore the nature of the photographic medium, what can be done (and what is lost) in moving from text to image, and how translation in literature or poetry, or adaptation in narrative film or painting, is fundamentally similar to or different from the same processes when executed in the language of photography.

Lab fee: $65. In this course, students are expected to spend 8 hours weekly on work and preparation outside of class time.

Goals: This course will interrogate the idea that the production of photography, and art in general, can be viewed as translation. We will begin with reading about the fundamental theories and problematics of translation as a medium and then turn toward photographic exercises that challenge students to think of photography as a language, both a source and a target for translation.