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Van Dousmanis

Last Name: 
Dousmanis
First Name: 
Van

When I was a boy my grandfather taught me the mechanics of photography. During long hours spent in the darkened bathroom of our apartment in the projects, he showed me the magic. We watched together as images emerged from a blank page, I remember the smell of chemicals, and the sound of constantly running water. Magic. My mother taught me the social impact of photography, its power to influence, and bear witness. She would assign me exercises in seeing, hold my hand as she moved me inches left or right, and ask, 'do you see?'. During undergraduate study at Binghamton University, Cinema Chair Ralph Hocking encouraged 'thoughtful vision.' He described photography as tool of personal exploration. Litigious vision for deeper understanding. I was encouraged to enable my camera to bridge self to society. Photography is a powerful tool of communication, as cultural negotiator and barometer of our values. It is our mirror. I believe image coding, those images or elements of images that through agreement become semiotic, reveal us. Photography reinforces society's perception of itself. After 20 years as a photojournalist, I understand the cultural and artistic influences of photography on self and society. I have learned that I have a responsibility to the viewer. Credibility is important; it secures trust between image-maker and image consumer. At Binghamton University, I found through my camera, that the campus is a microcosm of our culture. Its population reflects the complexities and dreams of our society. I have had [the] opportunity to chronicle the physical growth of the campus, and record the evolution of its students. Digital imaging has taken the smell of chemicals and sound of running water out of the process, but photography is still magic. And I still have to do my exercises in seeing. The artist wishes to thank his daughter Chase, his partner Ulla Berger, his grandfather, Alfred Skerritt, his mother, Gloria Fein, his college mentor Professor Ralph Hocking, and Sherry Miller Hocking, for their loving support, Binghamton University President Lois B, Defleur for her continued support and friendship, Director of Marketing for Enrollment Management Anita Knopp Doll, for her vision, guidance, and friendship, The Office of Communication and Marketing, Associate Vice President Chris Ritter, Director of Communications Katie Ellis, Manager of Media Relations Gail Glover, Administrative Assistant Cindy Lupo, Marleen Clark, Sandy Paniccia, Elivia Graves, Director of Athletics Joel Thirer, for his support and friendship, Director of the Career Development Center Nancy Paul, Director of Development for The Watson School of Engineering Michelle Gardner, Vice President for Student Affairs Rodger Summers for his spiritual guidance and friendship, The University Community for the opportunity to be its witness, the experience of a lifetime. from the book "Beyond the Lens" and accompanying exhibition of the photography of Evangelos Dousmanis, Binghamton University, 2004. http://www.evangelosdousmanis.com