Daniel Kariko is an Associate Professor of Fine Art Photography and Assistant Director for Undergraduate Programs in School of Arts and Design at East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina. He has been a faculty at ECU since 2010

Kariko’s images investigate environmental and political aspects of landscape, use of land and cultural interpretation of inhabited space. 

Kariko’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in galleries and museums including: Manchester Science Festival, UK; Rewak Gallery, University of Sharjah, UAE; Edinburgh International Science Festival, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia; Rijeka Foto Festival, Croatia; Fries Museum, NL; Festival della Scienza di Verona, IT; Royal Albert Hall, London, UK; ArtCell Gallery, Cambridge, UK; and Galata Museo del Mare, Genova, IT; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee, FL…

Kariko received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana and his Masters of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in studio arts with a concentration in photography.

Suburban Symbiosis: Insectum domesticus

Current, since 2011

This project started as an investigation of our relationship to suburban landscape through micro images of locally found insects and other arthropods. My images utilize the combination of Scanning Electron Microscope and optical Stereo Microscope, in order to achieve a “portrait”-like effect inspired by the tradition of 17th Century Dutch Masters.

Insects find way into our homes no matter how vigilant we are in our effort to keep the nature on the outer side of our windowpanes. During my inquiry into suburban experience, I started recording the indoor wildlife consistent with the environment my subdivision occupies. 

These little (and sometimes not so little) invaders are natural product of our own occupation of their habitat. As we keep expanding our subdivisions to the outskirts of towns, we inhabit recently altered environments. In general, I study environmental and political aspects of landscape, use of land, and cultural interpretation of inhabited space. This anthropomorphic presentation of our closest, often invisible, co-habitants in a humorous, quasi-scientific way, is an invitation to consider the evidence of the human impact on the landscape as we constantly redraw boundaries between us and the natural environment. 

Insects I photograph are found during my daily routines, either at home, or at work, and are titled after an unspecified location, and a partial date, further hinting on scientific specimen presentation device. These Images are meant to be portraits of our often-overlooked housemates.

Front Porch, Doormat, August 14th [Dryophthorine Weevil], 2011 © Daniel Kariko

On Top of a Crosswalk Button, May 4th [Assassin Bug- Juvenile], 2016 © Daniel Kariko

Living Room Ceiling, Later Rescued From a Cat, August 25th [Black Carpenter Ant], 2016 © Daniel Kariko

Under a Flowerpot Saucer, June 5th [Pill Bug], 2016 © Daniel Kariko


Why East Carolina University? 

The School of Art and Design provides a multidisciplinary approach to art and design that provides opportunities for students to develop their creative and critical thinking abilities by thinking through making. The School currently enrolls more than 500 students in twelve areas across four degrees. The School of Art and Design is the most comprehensive and largest BFA Art program in University of North Carolina system and has been continuously accredited by NASAD since 1962.

The School has over 40 full-time faculty and is located in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center, a 142,000-square foot facility with specialized equipment, tools, and technology for the School’s 14 disciplines—animation/interactive design, art education, art history, film and video production, ceramics, glass, graphic design, illustration, metal design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textile design. From computer labs, a digital loom, CNC routers, and laser cutters to a wood shop, foundry, letterpress shop, black and white dark room and beyond, the School’s facilities are comprehensive and available to faculty and students who think, make, and work across the School’s disciplines.
East Carolina University (ECU) enjoys a proud heritage and record of contribution since its founding in 1907. Within the University of North Carolina system, ECU is the third largest of the state’s 16 degree-granting public institutions. Based on the quality of its academic programs, ECU has been named one of the best colleges in the Southeast region by the Princeton Review. ECU’s is committed to maximizing student success, serving the public, and leading regional transformation in the East.

Teaching Experience — Our graduate students independently teach a variety of courses: Photography Survey, Digital Foundation, Intro to Darkroom, Advanced Darkroom, Lighting Studio, and Alternative Processes. Graduate Research Assistantships of 20 hours per week are available to our students. The current assistantship award is $4,500 per semester. Upon completion of 18 hours of graduate course work, students are eligible for an independent Teaching Assistantship.

Unique Program Offers — Our students investigate a wide variety of approaches to making photographic images, ranging from in-depth investigation of alternative processes to use of scientific equipment in collaboration with Biology Department¹s Microscopy Lab. ECU students have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take classes in fourteen different areas of concentration, including Film Production, Animation/Interactive Design, Printmaking, and of course, Photography. In addition to Photo Area, our facilities include, among others, Shape Lab (a digital 3D shop), a large Wood Shop, and even a Letterpress. Graduate students share office spaces and have 24/7 access to personal studios, black and white darkrooms and film processing facilities, dedicated alternative process lab, lighting studio, and dedicated digital facilities, where they have the opportunity to explore their personal vision using a variety of traditional, digital, and alternative processes.

Competitive Graduate Assistantships — Our program offers one of the best values of large public universities in the country, at $3,720.00 per semester for a full time in-state graduate tuition! Our out-of-state MFA applicants regularly receive out-of-state tuition waivers for their first year, and our strongly encouraged to apply for North Carolina residency after 12 months of starting a program.

Friendly Atmosphere — The photography program houses on average 6 graduate students- two in each year. Graduate Students are instructed in small groups in graduate seminars to facilitate open dialogue and critique.

Location — The University is in the city of Greenville, NC, on the Tar River, and has a community of over 90,000 residents. A former tobacco town, Greenville has developed as a cultural center in eastern North Carolina. In addition to extensive arts offerings by the School of Theater and Dance, School of Music, and School of Art and Design and its Gray Gallery, the city boasts the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, Greenville Museum of Art, Magnolia Arts Center, Whirligig Theater, numerous community schools of music and dance, and more. Outdoor amenities include access to the Tar River for boating and kayaking, the expansive River Park North, a greenway system, a superb Little League stadium and programs, and BMX/skateboarding parks. ECU is located adjacent to the city’s historic downtown—Uptown. This thriving district includes restaurants, coffee shops, brew pubs, retail businesses, and art galleries, which regularly hosts community events such as Umbrella Markets, Freeboot Fridays (before home football games), a BMX fest, and First Fridays (art walks). Greenville is located in the north central coastal plain region of Eastern North Carolina, approximately 85 miles east of Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina and 87 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean. With an easy access to North Carolina’s Research Triangle (75-90 minutes), and in a close driving distance to Richmond, VA (3 hours), and Washington, D.C. (4.5 hours) there are plenty opportunities of cultural excursions to museums and galleries.

What courses do you teach? 

All three of our professors work with in rotation with graduate and undergraduate students, so each student would benefit form the faculty's collective knowledge. Each graduate student in the Photography program attends a photo seminar every semester, in addition to independent studies, and classes attached to specific undergraduate courses.

How does your program bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary photographic practices? 

We believe in the importance of providing a comprehensive learning experience with exposure to the rich range of tools our medium has to offer- from 19th century techniques to the newest digital technologies including video and interactive installation. We provide our students with a subject appropriate balance of technical mastery; a historical and contemporary understanding of theory and practice; and the development of written and spoken art vernacular. We encourage our students to be skillful makers of meaningful visual experiences.

Describe the process of output for photographs. 

The Photography Area at ECU School of Art and Design supports students with several individual MFA darkrooms. a dedicated Alternative process lab, Photo-dedicated digital lab, including a Hasselblad Flextight X1 scanner, two Canon 44 inch printers, one Canon 24-inch printer, and 10 additional Canon and Epson 17-inh printers.one of the required courses in the program teaches students about the digital color workflow and color calibration.

Describe the critique format. 

The evaluation for individual assignments take format of group critiques in the class, where students are encouraged to comment on each other's work. Once a semester students invite outside-of-area faculty to a larger critique evaluating student's progress through thesis. In addition to the formal critiques, students are expected to discuss their larger body of work with individual faculty, during the office hours. Once the thesis committees are formed, in second year of their MFA studies, students will have a minimum of 6 critiques with the entire committee. Students are evaluated on the quality of their artwork, on their written, and their public presentations. The visiting artists participate in one-on-one portfolio reviews with the students in the program.

Where can we keep up with your photo department online?

What other artists should we be keeping an eye on?: 

Angela Wells 
Josh Raftery
Josh White