Eyes and ears are bad witnesses, especially if we have souls that do not understand the language.
– Richard Geldard, Remembering Heraclitus
Portfolio Seven was published in November of 2004 by students enrolled in NPF 548: Movements and Issues in Contemporary Photography. Released in a limited edition of 50 copies with three additional proof sets, it contains original images and artist statements by class members as well as a longer essay. It is also published on the web for only the second time in the project’s history.
For the past several years the course has been taught as an ideas workshop about contemporary photographic practice. Topics vary each year. For this academic term, class members opted to investigate the theme of new visions of the real.
In 1997-98, students began to create work in response to issues explored during the course and developed critical writing projects to contextualize the images produced. In the spring of that year, an experimental digital publication, Images and Ideas, was generated by class members, and the editorial team that produced this book went on to found Function, the School’s annual showcase of student work.
Portfolio One, the first in an ongoing series of limited-edition portfolios containing original work and artist statements, was designed and produced in the fall of 1998. This project established what has now become a tradition: each year, students select a personal image to publish in portfolio form and write an accompanying Artist Statement. The images and writing together represent the collective class response to topics discussed during the term.
Each portfolio is produced in a limited edition, one copy for each student and one copy to become part of the School’s permanent Print Collection. All production work, including printing, design, sequencing, text editing, digital pages and web layout, is done by class members.
Grateful thanks are offered to to the many individuals who volunteered and contributed to this project, assisting with cover design submissions, image and text editing and sequencing, financial coordination, digital output, exhibition planning and production logistics: Peter Beyer, Jordan Bowden, Mimi Cabell, Jamie Campbell, Nikki Chan, Becky Comber, Brenna Fava, Paul Hubble, Che Kothari, Irina Lyubchenko, Leah Maghanoy, Sarah Mangialardo, Wieslaw Michalak, Lisa Pesic, Sammy Rawal, Allison Rowe, Ariel Rubin, Andrea Valade, Yulanda Yee and Sabina Zych. Special thanks to Prof. Wayne Pittendreigh and the Photographic Imaging Centre staff for printing of digital pages, and to Prof. D. A. Dickinson for financial support. Design and digital composite work was done by Sabina Zych. Text editing and the portfolio essay were contributed by Mimi Cabell. Cover design: Ariel Rubin. Website: Nikki Chan and Yulanda Yee.
As of the end of 2004, some three hundred fifty portfolio sets have been made, each containing between 44 and 52 original prints.