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Eric Kunsman
2024 Foto forum santa fe Photography Award
2nd place winner

Eric Kunsman 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. He 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.

Artist Statement

Life-Lines Throughout the United States

This body of work is a companion series to my project, "Felicific Calculus: Technology as a Social Marker of
Race, Class, & Economics in Rochester, NY," to demonstrate how communities throughout the United States
face the same dire situation. Throughout the United States, many individuals are being left behind by technology,
whether that is for communication or Internet access. Our society has become one in which you must have
access to these tools to be provided support services and a job, or you are left behind, widening the gap
between the lower and middle classes.

Often, this outdated technology is also used to label individuals or areas of a community where they can be
found as social markers without further knowledge. The individuals I have met who still rely on payphones have
stated, "I hate how people look at me like I am doing something wrong when I am using the payphone."

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