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585.427.9848 - Stoney's Plaza, 2852 West Henrietta Road, Henrietta, NY 14623
Archival pigment print
24'' x 24''
About the Work
Change in technology has accelerated rapidly in recent years, and in many areas it has outpaced the ability of policy makers to make those advances equally available to socially and economically vulnerable citizens. There also appear to be unconscious biases that come into play, judgements that are formed about people who aren't able to access contemporary technologies in their daily lives, and who continue to depend on technologies and systems that just a decade or so ago were accepted as "normal." Those unacknowledged biases, those judgements that are made without basis in fact, can unfortunately lead to ignorant assumptions that incorrectly mislabel a neighborhood or community; or may even lead to dangerous situations when employed by policy makers.
Through Felicific Calculus I hope to challenge negative perceptions of these social markers that lead people to conflate poverty with crime. I hope the juxtaposition of the images and the mapping overlays may engage viewers in examining their own gut perceptions of social markers, like payphones and payphone use, and to explore the gaps between their prejudgements and the reality of how those phones actually serve individuals who may be less privileged. Though they are relics to most of us, payphones remain important for residents trapped in lower economic circumstances.
Eric T. Kunsman (b. 1975) was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While in high school, he was heavily influenced by the death of the steel industry and its place in American history. The exposure to the work of Walker Evans during this time hooked Eric onto photography. Eric had the privilege to study under Lou Draper, who became Eric's most formative mentor. He credits Lou with influencing his approach as an educator, photographer, and contributing human being.
Eric holds his MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and holds an MS in Electronic Publishing/Graphic Arts Media, BS in Biomedical Photography, BFA in Fine Art photography all from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
Eric is an educator at the Rochester Institute of Technology for the Visual Communications Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences.
Eric was named one of 10 B&W photographers to watch of 2018 by BW Gallerist, B&W Best Photographers of the Year 2019 by Dodho Magazine, and won the Association of Photography (UK) Gold Award for Open Series in 2019, Finalist, Top 200 for Critical Mass in 2019, 2020, & 2021, Top 15 Photographers for the Rust Belt Biennial. His project Felicific Calculus was also awarded a Warhol Foundations Grant through CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
Eric has held 39 solo exhibitions and counting. At this point, his work has been exhibited in over 250 galleries and museums and featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Dodho Magazine, Dek Unu, All About Photo, and LensWork.
He has been featured with online articles by Humble Arts Foundation, Analog Forever Magazine, Catalyst: Interview, One Twelve Publishing, to name a few. He is currently represented by HOTE Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Malamegi in San Daniele del Friuli (Udine), Italy.
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Donated By the artist