President Crow conversation to be webcast live

January 18, 2013

'2013 and beyond' open to worldwide Sun Devil community

Each year since his appointment as president of Arizona State University, Michael M. Crow has maintained an aggressive public speaking schedule across the U.S. addressing the status and course of ASU. One of these engagements, held locally each year, is reserved for residents of the communities surrounding ASU’s four campuses, and is designated a “conversation.” This year’s address, on Jan. 22, will also be a “conversation,” but will utilize technology to make it truly interactive for a much larger audience. For the first time, Crow’s address will be carried live via an internet webcast for ASU friends around the world. ASU President Michael M. Crow Download Full Image

“2013 and Beyond: Where do we go from here? – a conversation with ASU President Michael M. Crow” will be held at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. The program and webcast will run from 7-8:30 p.m., Arizona time. The in-person event begins with a reception at 6:30. Admission to the event at Tempe Center for the Arts is free, but advance registration is required through the ASU Foundation’s Presidential Engagement Programs office, 480-727-7208, or

Stacy Holmstedt, senior director of internet marketing for the ASU Foundation, says offering a webcast of Crow’s address for participants who can’t attend is a logical extension of the president’s concept for the event. “President Crow is enthusiastic about engaging ASU supporters in innovative ways,” says Holmstedt, “and the university is fortunate to have the technology to reach those supporters no matter how far they are from Tempe.” The webcast will be available at

Holmstedt notes that distant participants don’t need to wait for the event to begin the conversation. “We’re also utilizing email to allow questions to be submitted in advance,” she says. “Anyone can submit a question at any time to” Though the live event may not allow time for Crow to answer every question from the stage, Holmstedt says the office of the president will follow up unanswered questions via email after the event.

“President Crow’s address offers us another opportunity for expanding the conversation,” Holmstedt adds, “as we open it up to the Twittersphere. We’ll be live-tweeting from @asupresoffice, hashtag #PEP2013.”

Crow strongly believes in the importance of communication opportunities that support constructive dialogue. “Ideas and questions from our community are integral to the ongoing evolution of ASU, from determining its strategic direction to how it can help reconceptualize higher education in America and around the world. With the first decade of the New American University behind us and a new year ahead, the time is ideal to examine where we have been – as an institution and a state – and how our current environment is shaping our focus and objectives.”

“2013 and beyond: Where do we go from here?”, sponsored by the ASU Foundation’s Presidential Engagement Programs, is part of a series of premier community outreach events connecting metropolitan Phoenix and communities across the nation to Arizona State University’s visionary scholars and ideas. For other events in the series, visit

Erik Ketcherside,
Communications Manager | Editorial Services
ASU Foundation for A New American University

Klett focuses lens on time travel

January 18, 2013

As the saying goes, you can’t go home again, but Mark Klett has built a good chunk of his career on returning to the scene of historic sites and providing an update through a technique known as “rephotography.”

According to Klett, a Regents Professor of photography in the ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, rephotography is a fascinating way to study the intersection of culture, landscape and time. Photo by Courtesy of the ASU Alumni Magazine Download Full Image

“I take a photo from an earlier time period, return to the same locale, and create a new photograph of that exact spot,” he explained. “Among the subjects I’ve explored and developed into books are the Yosemite National Park and the site of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.”

Starting out as a geologist, Klett became intrigued by the interaction of people with the land. The American West eventually attracted his attention; a growing interest in this subject led to uncovering photographs taken more than a century ago and triggered the idea of revisiting and recapturing the same sites. Klett was able to fuel this exploration with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Buhl Foundation, and the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission.

Utilizing rephotography as an exploratory tool, Klett and his colleagues have created numerous books set in the West during the last 30 years. One of the most popular is Yosemite in Time, which includes a view of Lake Tenaya, where Edward Weston and Ansel Adams made photographic history. Another tome, Half-Life of History, features more than 70 photographs of a secret airbase in Wendover, Nev., where pilots and crews were trained for the mission to drop the atomic bomb that ended World War II.

Klett and his collaborators have taken full advantage of technological advances to enhance their books and exhibits. In his book Third View: Second Sights, which revisits 109 sites in the American West that were originally photographed as part of land surveys, the new photographs are supplemented with recorded interviews and sound effects, as well as videotaped details, such as special artifacts.

These collateral audio/visual gems are captured on an interactive DVD that accompanies the printed book. With the click of a computer mouse, viewers can experience animated walk-arounds in eight western states.

Klett says he feels such technology enhances, rather than threatens, the creative process of photography. “Photography has always been a technology-driven medium,” says Klett. “What I like about the digital process is the facilitation of new ideas.”

Klett’s students say they enjoy the emphasis on fieldwork in his classes. During one assignment, Scott Warren, a doctoral student in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, traveled to Ajo, Ariz., with student photographer Jason Roehner and Klett. “I trawled historic archives for old photos of Ajo while Jason rephotographed those same locations and put the old and new together,” says Warren. “Mark was both a contributor and an advisor - this is one of his strengths,” says Warren. “Joining us in the field and discussing techniques and ideas, his teaching is participatory.”

Klett said fieldwork was a way for students to better understand the location they were photographing, and that he encouraged work close to the Valley of the Sun, in addition to more far-flung locales. “I feel it is very important to go out with the students and work with them,” he said. “I also want them to become involved with projects that have meaning to communities, both in the Phoenix metro area as well as outlying areas.”

One way in which Klett is encouraging Phoenix-area involvement is through the Phoenix Transect project. It’s an interdisciplinary research project of the School of Art, in which visual artists who work alongside social scientists to explore the changes to the people, natural environments and resources of the metropolitan area.

Working across disciplines is second nature in Klett’s classes; course topics regularly touch upon issues of art, sociology, geography, communications, sustainability and urban planning.

“The cross-disciplinary approach coincides with the university’s efforts to engage students campus-wide in initiatives such as sustainability,” points out Klett. “Many of my colleagues in other fields are quite interested in having their graduate students work across traditional boundaries.”

Students also are quite enthusiastic about the long-term benefits engendered by the interdisciplinary nature of Klett’s class. “I’ve really learned to think creatively about ways to present my work,” says Warren. “The Ajo project was displayed in art galleries.”

Klett’s latest book, Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, came out in October 2012. The work is a change of pace for Klett and his co-author, as it examines a natural wonder that is far less changed than many of the sites he has previously examined.

“Cities are in a constant state of change; even a year can make a difference,” said Klett. However, at the Grand Canyon, “the span of 100 years is hardly a blink in geological time.”

“Comparing historic photographs of the Canyon to the present day view demands that one looks for minute changes that are hardly visible,” he noted. ”However, we’re most interested in how people’s perceptions of this iconic site have changed as reflected by popular art and photography.”

Oriana Parker is a Scottsdale-based arts writer. This article appeared in the December 2012 issue of the ASU Alumni Magazine.

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Susan Felt
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