Elizabeth Moran

Elizabeth Moran (b. 1984 in Houston, Texas) lives and works in San Francisco. She received her BFA in Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York and her MFA in Fine Art and MA in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her work is directed by a preoccupation with evidence of unknown or little understood histories. While her projects are primarily image-based, her work has also taken the form of other media such as text, audio, and video.
Moran’s work has been presented both nationally and globally, including Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center in Atlanta, SOMArts in San Francisco, RAC Gallery in New York, Fotofest in Houston, tête in Berlin, and 72 Gallery in Tokyo. Her work has been published in The British Journal of Photography, The New York Times Lens Blog, HotShoe, and Wired, among others.
Moran was awarded a Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in 2012, a Tierney Fellowship in 2013, and a grant from the Magnum Foundation/Atlantic Philanthropies in 2014. She was named one of the winners of Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward (US) for 2013 and, in 2014, one of Photoboite’s 30 Under 30 Women in Photography and the Santa Fe 100.

elizabethmoran.studio [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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About Elizabeth Moran's Thesis Project

Elizabeth Moran

The Photograph as Evidence: Contingencies of Meaning and Mattering

Within scientific experiments, the act of observation marks a moment of production: physicist Niels Bohr proved in the early twentieth century that the nature of light is existentially dependent on the contingencies of the experiment itself. Could the act of viewing photographic evidence be equally productive? Could the subject found in photographic evidence be as indeterminate and existentially dependent as light? Physicist and theorist Karen Barad has looked to Bohr’s experiments with light as a model for her theory of agential realism. Agential realism accounts for inherent indeterminacy (like the nature of light) in everything providing a new lens to observe how meaning comes to matter. Echoing Barad’s approach to Bohr’s revelation, I propose that the simple act of viewing photographic evidence matters, or materializes, a photographic subject.

Through analyses of the work of Spiritualist Édouard Isidore Buguet, scientist Jakob Ottonowitsch, and artists Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, I argue that the subjects of their photographs only exist within the act of viewing the image. If the nature of light reflects the contingencies of the experiment, photographic evidence is evidence of nothing but contingencies within the act of viewing a photographic image.

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