Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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Techpaths Lecture Series: Dan Albanese

Posted on October 9, 2013

The Techpaths Lecture Series, in partnership with Arthive and the Haas Visiting Artists Program, welcomed photographer Daniel Albanese to campus in mid-September. Albanese works for a non-profit during the day, but in his spare time he can be found on the streets of New York City with his camera, tracking down the latest street art installations or managing his website: thedustyrebel.com.

Albanese spent two days on campus, culminating in a lecture open to the entire Wheaton community. He spoke about his photography, his use of technology and social media, and his work as a documentarian of the political, socially-relevant , or otherwise notable art that populates New York City.

Albanese documents the art he comes across, legal or illegal, whether it take the form of posters, stickers, murals, chalk pieces, yarn weavings, sculptures, and even street performers. Why? Because he is, in his own words, “simplydocumenting a cultural event.” With a degree in anthropology and long interest in photography, he explained his current work as an extension of an earlier passion. By drawing attention to street art with his website and crediting the artists, he can “reach this audience that is around the world.”

During his lecture Albanese showed several dozen slides of his photographs. He spoke about his documentation of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and how he tracked down the protesters at Zuccotti park to photograph what was actually happening. He laughed saying, “Sometimes people would get mad if you were taking their picture which I always thought was funny...I’d say: ‘you know, the reason the world knows you’re here is because people like me are taking your picture...if you want this to be seen outside of this camp you need people like me to come through and photography you.” His photos of the movement went viral, appearing in publications such as The Atlantic Wire, Buzzfeed, and Gothamist.

Before the lecture, Albanese had dinner with the student Techpaths Fellows, a select group of students nominated for the honor by faculty, who had the opportunity to talk with Albanese in a more intimate setting. Albanese also spent some time visiting Professor McCormack’s sociology course Community in the Digital Age and Professor Niederstadt’s First Year Seminar Gift or Loot. He was well-received on campus and offered much insight into the world of art and technology. He explained how the two can benefit one another, penetrating cultures that have been in the past mysterious or unknowable to the outside observer.

- Montana Rogers '14

 

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