Arko Datto

September 2020

Before stepping into the world of contemporary photography, Arko Datto was on course to receive a doctorate in theoretical sciences. Datto’s practice interrogates what it means to be a photographer in the digital age while simultaneously playing the observer and commentator’s role on critical issues. He pursues narratives on seemingly disparate topics- forced migration, techno- fascism, surveillance in the digital panopticon, disappearing islands, nocturnal realms, and psychosomatic stress of captive animals. Although every narrative explored is separate and different from the next, together, they form threads of inquiry into our times’ existential dilemmas. By incorporating and developing diverse visual languages, narratives, and styles, Datto pushes both still and moving images’ boundaries. His long-term personal projects and essays are published in TIME, National Geographic among others. He received grants from the Prince Claus Fund, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and, most recently, from the IDFA Bertha Fund. Recent shows include Mannequin at Imago Lisboa (Lisbon), Pik-Nik at Gallerie Image (Aarhus), and Mannequin at Unseen (Amsterdam). He also enjoys curating the works of others and has been associated with Kochi Biennale, Obscura Photography Festival and Chennai Photo Biennale in this regard.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has constrained our ability to physically host artists in Syracuse, Light Work has responded innovatively to offer continued support in the form of remote residencies. The remote residency experience support artists in developing their artistic practice from their home or designated studio space. In addition to the stipend, artists will benefit from technical, professional, and creative support, as well as the extraordinary freedom to determine their own residency’s shape and timing. Our AIR participants can use their month to pursue their projects: photographing, scanning, printing, editing for book projects, and working closely with our staff for feedback and conversation.