Workshop: Towards a Personal Vision
With Robert Lyons and Jörg Colberg
Towards a Personal Vision is a photography workshop for practicing photographers and advanced students
in photography, to be held in Northampton, Massachusetts from Friday, November 7, 2008 until Sunday, November 9,
2008, starting on the 7th at noon and ending on the 9th in the late afternoon/early evening. Full workshop
and application details can be found in this brochure
What is a 'personal vision' and how does one come to it? Are there tools that one can use to help explore this
area and that allow one to reach deep into oneself to utilize creative energy? How does a personal vision relate
to the bigger picture, such as the art market, collectors, curators, publishing, and marketing?
This workshop will explore these ideas through a survey of the medium from 1970 onward, and it will distill
some of the major methodologies including conceptual work, documentary style, personal diary, and more.
From this vantage point participants will work together in an open critique to firmly establish the areas that
most appropriately describe their individual mode of work, and they will begin to probe themselves concerning
inspiration, motivation and practice. Concurrent with this inquiry, the class will examine and discuss the
responsibilities of an artist to her/himself and to the social milieu in which s/he works.
Robert Lyons lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and Massachusetts. He has taught widely in the USA and Europe.
Presently, he is a guest lecturer at the Ostkreuz-Schule in Berlin. His work has been widely exhibited in the
United States and Europe and is represented in numerous permanent collections including: The Metropolitan Museum,
Seattle Art Museum and the Henry Art Gallery. He has published four books including 'Another Africa' and, most
recently, 'Intimate Enemy: Voices and Images from the Rwandan Genocide'. He has taught workshops at the ICP,
Photographic Center Northwest and the Berlin Photo Workshops.
Jörg Colberg is a writer, curator, and photographer, most well known for his photography blog, Conscientious.
His writing/interviews has been published in numerous magazines and can be found on a wide variety of websites
both nationally and internationally. Jörg has been or will be a jury member and/or reviewer of, for example,
Critical Mass, the International Fashion and Photography Festival in Hyeres, France 2008, Atlanta celebrates
Photography 2008, and PhotoNOLA 2008. He is currently also curating a photography show, which is due to open
in December 2008 at Michael Mazzeo Gallery (New York City).
"At the workshop I presented a new body of work and received what I feel to be applicable and critically rich
feedback. Joerg and Robert created an environment that was energetic, passionate and conducive to constructive
criticism, often riffing on each other, which added an element of levity to the proceedings. As I continue to
work on my project, it is with a sense of reinvigorated purpose and direction gleaned from the weekend.
Furthermore, as our group gathered on the final night, we all agreed that we didnít want the weekend to end!" -
Charlie Simokaitis (Summer 2008 workshop)
"It's been 3 weeks and still feel like I'm processing the entire experience of the weekend [...]. I feel as if
the response I received was overwhelmingly affirmative with regards to my shooting and post production skills and
abilities. The insight [...] in to how to go about editing my work into a cohesive body continues to resonate in
a way that allows me to feel as if I may finally have a handle on how to approach that most dreaded task.
The probing questions, thoughtful criticisms and enlightening suggestions were all delivered [...] from a place
that reflects the deep knowledge and respect you have for the medium and it's practitioners.
"The other part of the equation that made this workshop so engaging was the quality of work by the other participants.
You seemed to choose a wide variety of styles and levels of experience that added to the fabric of the discourse.
Not everyone was doing the same thing or had similar points of view. Yet, the level of conversation was always
deep and insightful. I can't imagine that anyone walked away feeling as if they got less than they bargained for.
Seeing the work of the others in the group has also inspired me to dig a little deeper into my own subject matter.
All in all, I feel unsettled about my work at this point, and this is a very good thing as far as I'm concerned.
I'm antsy to start something new, but I know it is not yet time to begin. It is almost as if my mind is rebooting
after having a newer (bug free of course) operating system installed, and now I'm about to discover a whole new level
of functionality. I just have to wait patiently for the wheel to stop spinning." -
Mike Peters (Summer 2008 workshop)
Robert & Jörg