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Symposium: Wider Vantages Are Needed Now, Times 18

Yosemite II

David Hockney, Yosemite II, October 5th 2011. iPad drawing printed on 6 sheets of paper, mounted on 6 sheets of Dibond. © 2013 David Hockney

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“Photography is all right,” Hockney has been known to say, “if you don’t mind looking at the world from the point of view of paralyzed Cyclops—for a split second.”  

But that’s not what the world is like, he will go on to insist. Nor does cinema—likewise in thrall to the necessarily cycloptic vise of lens-based one-point perspective—escape his critique.  Much of Hockney's work over the past several decades has seen the artist trying to break free of what he calls “the optical” into wider and wider vantages, nowhere more so than in the gorgeous 18-screen (18-vanishing-point) gridded HD video pieces in the current de Young show, which represent a breakthrough in the depiction of physical reality and hold all sorts of implications for practicioners from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.  

The de Young devotes a day to inviting luminaries from these domains, along with philosophers and others, to experience, and then comment upon, Hockney’s latest innovation. You come, too!

Featured speakers include Lawrence Weschler (symposium curator), Florian von Donnersmark (director, The Lives of Others, The Tourist), John Gaeta (Academy Award-winning designer best known for his work on the Matrix film trilogy), Dennis Muren (Industrial Light and Magic), Alvy Ray Smith (co-founder, Pixar), Blaise Aguera y Arcas (Photosynth and Microsoft), Peter Norvig (Google), Daniel Crooks (Australian video artist slices and dices time and space), Trevor and Ryan Oakes (camera obscura tracings created without technology or equipment), Margaret Wertheim (The Institute for Figuring), Gail Wight (multi-screen videographer), Adam Curtis (BBC documentarian), Richard Benefield, (deputy director of the Fine Arts Museums and organizer of David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition).

This event is created by Lawrence Weschler, veteran of the New Yorker, author of True to Life: Twenty-Five years of Conversations with David Hockney, and contributor to the exhibition catalogue for David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition.

Ticket Information

Tickets go on sale October 16.
$25 members; $35 non-members (gallery admission not included)


The Fine Arts Museums’ Cultural Encounters programs are made possible through the generous support of the Hearst Foundations and the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation. Thanks to our media sponsor the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Contact Information
Gregory Stock