writings on photography & other media
Don Snyder
Portfolio Nine


Portfolio Nine

NPF 548, Modern Movements / Issues in Photography, is offered annually as an upper-level elective course in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. 

For the past decade the course has been taught as an ideas workshop about contemporary photographic practice. Topics vary each year. In the fall of 2007, chosen topics included investigations of many recent issues and tendencies. The multiple and overlapping media zones in which photography is practiced, the continual variability of new ways of representing information, the changing relationships between process and meaning, and new trends in reportage and social investigation were all explored; the course was augmented with guest lectures, and concluded with a brief look at image networks, web-based imagery, and the inversion of public and private forms of address. Out of all this came the ideas for the work in this book.

Students began to create work in response to issues explored during the course as early as 1997-98, and also developed critical writing projects to contextualize the images they produced. In the spring of that year, an experimental publication, Images and Ideas, was generated by class members, and the editorial team that produced this book went on to found Function, the School's annual showcase of student work. 

Portfolio One, the first in a series of limited-edition portfolios containing original work and artist statements, was designed and produced in the fall of 1998. This project established a tradition which this year has taken on a new identity: for the first time the class is publishing a five-chapter digital book, while maintaining the idea of a portfolio of student work and the concept of a limited edition. Each participant designed a personal project and wrote an accompanying Artist Statement; the images and writing together represent the collective class response to topics discussed during the term.

Each book is produced in a limited edition, one copy for each student and one copy to become part of the School's permanent Collection in the Mira Godard Study Centre. All production work, including design, sequencing, text editing, digital pages and web layout, is done by class members. The work will be on display in the Image Arts Gallery at the start of the winter, 2008 term, and will also be available on the web at imagearts.ryerson.ca/portfolio9 .

Many thanks to Photobook Canada for their assistance, encouragement, and production work on the final project.

December 2008

Course Materials

2010 Function and Image Arts: Origins and Change
2010 Portfolio Eleven
2009 Portfolio Ten
2008 Portfolio Nine
2004 Alphabetically by Title: Afterword
2004 Portfolio Seven
2003 Appendix
2003 Introduction - Function #5
2003 Portfolio Six
2001 Introduction - Function #3
2000 Introduction - Function #2
1999 Introduction - Function #1
1998 Images and Ideas
1985 Elite's Paces