Photography art

Central Michigan Life – Q&A: Photography, Art Teacher Urges Students To Consider Artistic Concepts Around Us

Carlos Rene Pacheco began his undergraduate studies in astronomy, but changed his mind when he graduated from photography.

Since graduating from the University of Arizona, Pacheco has fully embraced his love for the craft, becoming a renowned photographer. He passed on his experience and knowledge to students across the country.

Originally from Arizona, Pacheco developed a love for capturing intriguing and stimulating moments. Fascinated by the world around us and the galaxy in which our planet shares space, he always thought in a larger frame than most. From an early age, Pacheco developed a love for the mystery and glory of space and all that it contains. This love has inspired much of his past and current projects.

Since graduating with his Masters in 2014, Pacheco has been heavily involved in teaching at universities in the Midwest. But that hasn’t stopped him from also showing his work in three solo shows and nine group shows since obtaining his BFA in 2011. Due to his outstanding work, he has already won several awards for his work at New York, Ohio and Arizona. .

Pacheco is a new professor at Central Michigan University in the Department of Art and Design, teaching photography and art classes at Wightman Hall.

“If I can’t find anything of interest at ground level, what the world looks like from up there,” said Pacheco.

Pacheco spoke with Life in central Michigan on his inspirations and experiences through the prism of his art and his life.

CM Life: Where are you from and where did you study?

I am originally from Tucson, Arizona. My family has been there since the 1850s. On my mother’s side, we are one of the founding families of Tucson. I also got my undergrad / BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona at Tucson. After that I went to graduate school at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where I got my MFA in Photography and Integrated Media.

What is the difference between a photography degree and an integrated media degree?

Embedded media (in the Ohio University curriculum) was added because the definition of photography extends beyond the traditional flat 2D image. Thus, it allows you to work more with different types of media instead of just capturing photos.

How did your hometown influence your interest in space?

When I was a kid I was surrounded by this imagery, especially on the State University campus, with all of its lunar labs making parts for the satellites and even some of the probes sent into space. These probes would then return images of Mars, especially with the popularity of the Mars Rover at the time. It has inspired a lot of what I do and what I have done with photographic subjects involving space and questioning / understanding certain technologies that we all use today.

What prompted you to go from a specialization in astronomy to a specialization in photography?

Like a lot of people, when you grow up you have a fictionalized version of what you want to be a career in. I have always loved going to the library and browsing images of space, different planets, galaxies and nebulae. . When I got to college I thought if I could get past math class they would say, “Hey, we’ve got a telescope that you can look through, come and sit here and look at the stars all the way through. day ”, and it was not. how it worked. In reality, it was much more complicated than I had expected. I entered the photography program to acquire the technical skills so that I could look at the stars and planets and switch to astrophotography. But the program I was in focused more on the conceptual side of photography, rather than the technical skills I would need to pursue astrophotography. Then I realized that I much preferred to explore and travel, so astrophotography became an underlying goal of my work.

What’s the most memorable place you’ve been and photography has taken you?

The five years I spent in North Dakota were really interesting. Growing up in Arizona you have mountains, desert valleys, snow-capped pine forests, and other diverse landscapes across the state. North Dakota is very flat. So I used (the flatness) of an endless horizon as a source of inspiration for my photography. Because I could see so far from the ground, I wanted to see how far and how much I could see from the sky, whether it was right over my head or from an airplane or a drone. It really pushed me to really find who I am as an artist and as a person. North Dakota is not like Michigan. There are hardly any trees anywhere so you can see for miles in all directions.

How has your stay at CMU been so far?

Its been good! I currently live between here (Mount Pleasant) and Midland so I’m still trying to understand the layout of the area as this is only my fourth week here. But it was fun working with all the new students and teaching classes that I had never taught before. (I also) discovered how students in this field think and how I can integrate my experience and perspective to make my students look at their art in different ways. But it has been a great experience so far at CMU.

What is your main goal in photography at the moment?

I am interested in the technological side of things. Because he’s come so far in such a short time, we’re at a point where everyone has a camera in their back pocket. To some extent, everyone is a photographer – millions of images are taken every day. This curiosity eventually led me to live street cameras in famous places like Times Square or Abbey Road, where thousands of people visit every day. While looking, I noticed that tourists were constantly taking pictures. It made me think, “I wonder if I could find this photo? So I would match the moment someone took a photo on the webcam to the actual photo the person took with their phone or camera.

Before CMU, what classes did you teach and where did you teach them?

I taught a few introductory photography classes in graduate school, but most of my teaching was at Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Moorhead, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota are two small towns separated by a river. So I lived in Fargo but taught in Moorhead. I taught everything from introduction to photography to darkroom classes, introduction to digital photography and the classes I created such as identity in photography, storytelling in photography and photography. experimental. I have also taught courses unrelated to photography, such as Contemporary Art Theory and a course on how to be a better technical and professional artist.

What is the most memorable event that happened while you were photographing?

Before moving to North Dakota, I was staying on a farm with a friend at the time, now engaged, and found out something interesting about the state and the Midwest in general. I learned that the farmers have these things called slash piles, where the farmers burn any excess material or trash because they are so far from a city. I found it very strange, coming from Arizona, where a parasitic spark could catch something on fire and burn a whole landscape. So when I was setting up there I would notice smoke coming from those piles of burns and I would go and photograph them, capturing what was being burned. One day I spotted smoke, drove to compose pictures and as I moved around this huge fire I looked down and saw a little kitten. I was surprised how much alive this kitten was inside that fire. After several attempts, I finally managed to pull her out from under the flames. Finally, she found herself in this mud puddle, looking at me. His brother came out of a small addiction and came under me to warm me up. The fire kitten then came towards me too, and I was able to take him to a vet. When I arrived they asked me what I wanted to name them. For the kitten that was in the fire, I suggested the name Pyro. Then the vet came up with the idea of ​​naming his brother Maniac. Pyro and Maniac have both been a big part of my fiancée and me ever since.

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