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Lightime brand with graphic circular elements like a watch face

Welcome to the Hillman Photography Initiative

The Hillman Photography Initiative is an incubator for investigating the rapidly shifting field of photography and its impact in the world today.

As photography moves from paper prints, to digital images, to a future that we can only imagine, what remains fundamentally “photographic”? At its essence—and since its beginnings—photography measures light and time. The four artist projects unfolding in 2016–17, as well as the Light Clock on the museum’s front plaza, expand upon and perhaps explode this notion, using it as a springboard to investigate contemporary social issues.

For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches—and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing.

Roland Barthes

Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.Design services generously provided by Clear Story.

LIGHTIME Artist Projects

Video still of wood frame of house overlooking airborne debris and small floating island off in the distance

Light + Perception

What role does photography play in the virtual realm?

Blurry black and white image of a traffic overpass

Light + Movement

How do photographs from the past inform the present?

Abandon house interior with woman in dress facing fireplace and her reflection in the mirror above mantel.

Light + Social Justice

How are artists exploring photography’s connection to light and time to effect social action in Pittsburgh?