The Archive’s Shadow

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Lynn Cazabon

Lynn Cazabon

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
MITH Seminar Room
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
12:30 pm
co-sponsored by the Digital Cultures & Creativity Program at the Honors College and University Libraries

We regret that the audio is not available for Lynn Cazabon’s digital dialogue. However, video and slides are available for viewing.

Lynn Cazabon is a visual artist whose work poses questions about human progress by focusing on what gets left behind in its wake. Cazabon will discuss her project Discard, which consists of several discrete series of large-scale photographic prints featuring movie films discarded by public institutions (libraries, schools, archives). Harking back to the 19th century practice of postmortem photography, each print in this body of work serves as a memento mori to the recently obsolete medium of film. In its totality, Discard is a shadow archive, reflecting that which has been omitted from institutional archives and reflecting upon a process by which values are reversed: whereby something once valued becomes worthless and looses its viability as a cultural artifact. The project also underlines our current reliance on potentially unstable digital technologies to preserve the things we deem to be worth saving and asks what is lost when we don’t save such physical artifacts (like film) but only transfer its image to digital media. Cazabon will also discuss the notion of the archive as it plays out in her other projects.

Lynn Cazabon’s work in photography, video and installation has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, in solo and group exhibitions at Schroeder Romero (NYC), Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, NY), The Creative Alliance (Baltimore), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Galerie Vox (Montreal), Artists Space (NYC), The Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA), Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta), C. Grimaldis Gallery (Baltimore), Le Local (sponsored by Folie/Culture, Quebec, QC), PS122 (NYC), the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT), and at the Art Gallery at the University of Maryland (College Park, MD). She has received grants and residency fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Franklin Furnace Archives, The Camargo Foundation, Jentel Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Yaddo. Her work is featured in numerous exhibition catalogs and has been written about by noted photo historian Geoffrey Batchen in the book Each Wild Idea: Writing, Photography, History (MIT Press, 2001). Cazabon is an Associate Professor of Art at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

A continuously updated schedule of talks is also available on the Digital Dialogues webpage.

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All talks free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunches.

Contact: MITH (,, 301.405.8927).