Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum

Chris Jordan discusses “invisible” large-scale challenges at Tate Forum

Photographer Chris Jordan at SMUAward-winning photographic artist Chris Jordan compares himself to a guy at a party who points out the bloody rhinoceros in the room.

Jordan’s large-scale photographs attempt to evoke the magnitude of large-scale environmental and cultural problems, from mountains of garbage generated by U.S. consumerism to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Jordan, the National Geographic international eco-ambassador for Earth Day 2008, spoke at SMU on Jan. 27 as part of the 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. While he answered student questions about his work, he told them he couldn’t offer solutions to the unsettling cultural issues he photographs. Instead, Jordan said it’s his hope his photos prompt people to talk about the subject matter.

“Artists are just allowed to raise the issue,” Jordan said. “That’s the only opinion I have – we should be talking about it.” Read more under the link.

(Right, Chris Jordan speaks at the Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum on the day of his Tate Distinguished Lecture. Photo by Jake Dean.)


Quincy takes questions in Tate Lecture student forum

quincy-jones-200.jpgQuincy Jones has a key piece of advice for students: Don’t sell yourself short.

“The strongest things you’ve got are your passion and commitment. You throw those away, you have nothing,” the legendary composer, producer, arranger and musician told students at SMU Oct. 7. He was on campus to speak in the 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Jones answered student questions about his experiences working with icons ranging from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. He also spoke about his own commitment to learning through travel and the importance of science knowledge to disciplines as diverse as music and sports.

“Music is amazing because it’s the only thing that affects the left and right brain simultaneously – the intellect and the emotions,” he said. “You have to build your science to back up everything you do.”

See a video of the Q&A video


Gergen, Nunn discuss election-year issues in Tate Forum

The next U.S. president must make the most of common interests to restore leadership at home and abroad, two political veterans told students at SMU Sept. 16.

“We’ve got to get over this notion that you punish people by not talking to them. You’ve got to have dialogue,” said Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator and chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces, at the Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum. Former White House adviser David Gergen questioned Nunn before an audience of SMU and local high school students in a preview of their Tate Distinguished Lecture, which also featured former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III.