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STEVEN SPENCER: Recent Photographs

May 29 – July 28, 2013
Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 29, 5:00-7:00pm

Steven Spencer
Also Equivalents, #45, 2010
  “Clouds and their relationship to the rest of the world, and clouds for themselves, interested me, and clouds which were difficult to photograph— nearly impossible… I always watched clouds. Studied them… I wanted to photograph clouds to find out what I had learned in 40 years about photography. Through clouds to put down my philosophy of life— to show that my photographs were not due to subject matter—not to special trees, or faces, or interiors, to special privileges—clouds were there for everyone—no tax as yet on them—free.”

Alfred Steiglitz in “How I Came to Photograph Clouds”, The Amateur Photographer & Photography, 1923.

“The concept and discipline of Equivalence in practice is simply the backbone and core of photography as a medium of expression-creation.” ―
Minor White, “Equivalence: The Perennial Trend” PSA Journal, 1963

FACULTY FOCUS exhibitions present photographic works from faculty of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, a joint enterprise of the photography programs at Daytona State College, the University of Central Florida (Daytona Campus) and the Southeast Museum of Photography. This exhibition series is presented each year as part of the Museum's regular summer exhibition schedule. The focus for 2013 is recent work by Steven Spencer, a photography professor in the UCF photography program. This exhibition highlights work from the series Six Miles and Also Equivalents, both of which are reflections of life on the Florida coast.


Cocoa Beach is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Banana River Lagoon. The city accounts for just six miles of a much larger swath of barrier island along the central Florida coastline. Cocoa Beach, Brevard County, have been my home for most of my life. I have seen here a sea-change of growth and development. Like so many other parts of the Florida coast, this area has many visible layers. The trees, the people, the buildings, the traffic, the land, they come and go. There is no part of this barrier island that has remained untouched by man's hand and nature's movements. It is, to say the least a landscape of many types and one that remains in transition.

My goal with this photographic project is to create views of the many layers of these six miles from ground level that can be viewed in sync, from north to south and east to west. The images that are completed to date are a sort of surrealist-documentary of these Six Miles at a point in time. The images when pieced together indicate the transitory nature of this place. The people, the buildings, the cars, the trees, merge into one another in the photographs as if to indicate a presence, to make an imprint, but not one of permanence. This imprint of change belongs not only to this barrier island but the entire coast line of Florida.

Each photograph is untitled and represents approximately ¼ mile of the six mile city. Individual images are eight feet long by eleven inches.


Also Equivalents represents an experience of a place at a moment in time. These images visually describe my experience of that place. My perception of this place however, is not yours. You cannot fully experience my thought, my emotion, and my experience at the click of the shutter. Your perception of these places is partly influenced from within you. What is here for you then, is a metaphor; a metaphor, for your emotions, your thoughts and your experiences. They are Also Equivalents for you too.


Steven Spencer spent his childhood in Cocoa Beach, Florida during the height of the space race. His family moved to Cocoa Beach in the early 1960’s forming and joining the thriving community of Cape workers. Steve’s introduction to photography came initially from his father, a chemical engineer and launch pad safety supervisor at the Cape. They built a darkroom together which is still in working condition in the house where Steve grew up.

Steven Spencer earned an MFA in Studio Art from Louisiana State University, a B.S. in Photographic Technology from Florida A & M University, and an A.S. in Industrial Photography from Brevard Community College. He completed additional graduate work at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Steven has a wide range of experiences and accomplishments as a working photographer, as an artist, and as an educator. Before joining the University of Central Florida’s art faculty in 2003 he was employed as an industrial photographer and videographer at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center; as the photographer for the State of Louisiana’s Office of Tourism; in commercial photographic labs; in professional portrait and commercial studios; and in the photojournalism field. He has conducted photographic workshops in academic and professional settings leading explorations in the digital technologies, the archaic processes, photography as installation, and the fine art of book making. He has authored workbooks on Photoshop skills and on non-silver photography. Steven has exhibited in group and juried shows regionally, nationally, and internationally with one-person exhibitions in both Canada and the U.S.
The Beach, #8. Detail from the series Six Miles, Cocoa Beach, Florida 2012

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The Southeast Museum of Photography is a service of Daytona State College
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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.

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