In March '15, I brought nationally acclaimed photographer, Steve Rosenfield, to Binghamton University for his What I Be project. This project is a portfolio of close-up photographs that invites subjects to own their insecurities by writing them on their hands or face with a black marker. Rosenfield aims to “build security through insecurities,” and holds long discussions with each subject to bring these feelings to the forefront. The project began in 2010, and has documented students at Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Stony Brook, University of Chicago, and many more institutions across the United States.
For one week, Rosenfield photographed students each day, holding 45-minute sessions of one-on-one discussion and photography with each subject. There were a limited number of sessions available to the campus on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In October '14, I contacted Steve after having seen his work over social media. Over the following months, I organized his one week's stay and contract, raised over $5,000 from campus entities to facilitate his visit, lodging, rentals of spaces and materials, and worked closely with the University Art Museum to curate and display the results.
During Rosenfield's visit, I also organized a speaking event and a two week-long exhibit in a primary art display space on campus. During the event, he shared his inspiration for the project and invited subjects to speak about their experiences with the project. The exhibit featured the 70+ Binghamton "What I Be" photographs displayed in a high-traffic atrium on campus.
The event was so successful that the school newspaper dedicated a full spread to its write up, and even dubbed it for their April Fools edition.