So what is the Lens Media Lab?
"Lens media" broadly encompasses photography, video, and film, both analog and digital. Some fine art "photography" departments have re-cast themselves as "lens media” departments offering traditional photography while embracing the intangible outputs of today -- digital imaging, both still and video. This trend will continue as the cultural associations and distinctions between imaging media continue to dissolve. The unifying thread among these visual media is the lens -- on Man Ray's camera, an IPhone, or within the human eye.
In the first instance, the LML will be devoted to the physical photograph across the spectrum from object of artistic expression to utilitarian document. In many respects, this work has already begun through collaborations devoted to artists and collections, including Harry Callahan and the Center for Creative Photography, the Thomas Walther Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, and with Man Ray in private collections. The LML provides a needed platform for cultivating these sorts of projects and increasing their impact through close ties to collectors and collecting institutions. Itself an outcome of collaboration with senior Yale administration including the director of the IPCH, Stefan Simon, and through a generous gift from a committed collector, the LML will bring together conservators, scientists, art historians and a wide range of other academic disciplines to conduct both basic and applied research. In every instance, this work will have relevance for collections and collectors and it will be my goal to broaden the base of support for the LML within these two groups.