Associate Professor and Coordinator of Photography in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University.
Barry Stone was born in Lubbock, Texas, and earned a BA in Biology and an MFA in Studio Art in Photography from the University of Texas at Austin.
His work is represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York and Art Palace in Houston and is the founding member of the artist collective, Lakes Were Rivers. He is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Photography Program at the School of Art and Design at Texas State University. His work has been nationally and internationally exhibited most recently at Center for Art and Media, (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, The Lianzhou Photography Festival in China, and with Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York City. His photographs have been acquired by many collections including the Cleveland Clinic, Fidelity Mutual Corporation Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. His work has been reviewed in many publications including Artforum, Artlies, Artnet, Washington City Paper, The New York Sun, TimeOut New York, and The New York Times.
DAILY, IN A NIMBLE SEA
DAILY, IN A NIMBLE SEA, is an anagram of “BAILEY ISLAND, MAINE,” where a tiny stretch of coastline is incessantly transformed by the interactions of fog, sun, and tides. When the tide goes out, a rocky field of seaweed is revealed. To walk across it is to traverse the ocean floor in the open air. It is a magical place, and for seven summers I have watched my girls grow and change against this backdrop. Photographs put a feeble defense against the passage of time: the still image halts the waves from breaking, only to paradoxically heighten our awareness of their inevitable movement forward.
These pictures were made with a digital camera. The code from the digital photographs also forms a kind of picture, expressed as a field of symbols. In this volume sections of code are sequenced alongside the photographic images they were extracted from. These symbols, like an anagram, can be rearranged and purposely disordered, resulting in gestural aberrations or glitches to create alternate versions of the original digital capture.
DAILY, IN A NIMBLE SEA is published by and available from Silas Finch.
Installation view from DAILY, IN A NIMBLE SEA at Art Palace Gallery, Houston, TX, June 2017
Why Texas State University?
Photography at Texas State is standalone BFA within the School of Art and Design. We have our own newly renovated building which features two digital classroom labs, an open digital lab and print finishing room, studio, two seminar rooms, a newly built darkroom, a gallery and shared faculty/ advanced student research space. Even though we are a separate major and in a different building, we work closely with our colleagues in studio art, design, and art history and definitely look for and encourage any opportunity to collaborate. Often our strongest students are double majors in studio or design. Currently, we have a little over 120 declared photography majors and we offer a minor in art which allows non-majors to take advanced level photography courses. At Texas State we only have undergrad studio and photography. Design has an MFA program. In photography, we have two tenured professors, myself and Jason Reed, and one assistant professor, Jessica Mallios. In addition, we have 2-3 non-tenure line faculty who regularly teach with us.
What courses do you teach?
I work with exclusively with undergrads. I have taught just about everything in our program, but lately, my main-stays has been Advanced Digital Photography and Readings in Photography, which looks at canonical theoretical texts from a practitioner's point of view.
How does your program bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary photographic practices?
About three years ago with overhauled the curriculum with just these questions in mind. We wanted to create was a multifaceted lens-based program that created visually literate photographers with a sense of contemporary issues informed by historical precedent. Considering our world is post-digital, that is, the "digital revolution" has arrived, digital processes serve as kind of baseline throughout the curriculum. However, we start with cyanotypes in Foundations of Photography One, and the follow-up course is a black and white darkroom course. We now have three levels of digital coursework, which covers everything from basic DSLR operation to scanning large format negatives, to exploring code and digital materiality. We encourage students to utilize whatever photographic methodologies serve their vision, many times the most interesting work often happens at the intersections among processes. That being said, it begins and ends with the content and context in which the student is working, so there is no prescription for what we advocate, if it makes sense for students to make straight black and white landscapes or hacked augmented reality images, this is richness we strive for. Many of our students use video and sound and we encourage that exploration as well. We have a new degree in studio art, Expanded Media, that many of our students take courses in, and we are stronger for it.
Describe the process of output for photographs.
It depends on the class. In the first digital classes, students make inkjet prints small and large format. In the Advanced digital, as in their Thesis courses, a student can use any output that serves the work. We have invested in a building a new darkroom because we feel its important for students to also learn historically, and they also really love getting there hands wet, so to speak. We have printers in an open lab, we use Epsons. We have two 44 inch printers, two 24 inch printers and many 13 and 17 inch wide printers for the students to use.
Describe the critique format.
Most crits are in class and are restricted to class members, but we do have a couple opportunities for our students. One of the most exciting is our newly created BFA portfolio review. This is a non-binding one on one conversation with each of our students with members of the faculty. Students write an artist statement and exhibit a selection of images from their coursework so far and we sit for 20 minutes and discuss their experiences so far and suggest avenues for their growth and possible paths of trajectory. We have done it twice, and I think it has been a very positive experience for students and faculty alike. Visiting artists will come and discuss their work in the gallery and meet with a select number of students. We have partnered with Blue Star in San Antonio, a contemporary art space, and they bring one show to our gallery each semester, and we schedule talks and meetings with artists who participate.
Where can we keep up with your photo department online?