Tom Porett
Emeritus Faculty
MS, Illinois Institute of Technology,institute of Design
BS, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Artist's Statement:
The foundation of my work has always begun with the photograph, which has been rightly considered a "moment" often effectively standing as a singular, self-contained expression. Although this is certainly one important aspect of photography, it has been clear to me that this is not necessarily the only or even the most important aspect of the medium. Given the capacity of the medium to produce a veritable stream of imagery, the reliance upon making a single image seemed to limit a basic characteristic of the medium.

As such, I have pursued exploration of the medium's inherent multiplicity in several ways. Earlier in my career I created large-scale multimedia projection works that treated images as linguistic analogs in which sequences of images in time and juxtaposition enabled complex interactions of meanings to be created. The advent of computer photographic imaging expanded this potential and led to the creation of a number of interactive works in which I was able to further push the notion of narrative interaction within the imagery.

I have been increasingly involved in bringing this same sense of multiple image interaction into the print form. Integrating images of disparate temporal and spatial instances into a new reality.

A duality of subject matter has continued to demand my attention. My interest in the simple elements of nature is visual and not a romantic praise of the actual object. I seek visual ideas that initiate a process of discovery. I feel most successful when this search leads to unexpected surprises. I have been equally drawn to the dynamics of urban life and it’s rich diversity of experience and the equally compelling imagery of the natural world.

A very exciting avenue of recent work has been the creation of image/music video pieces. I have generated video sequences from multiple still images that are in turn are composited into multi-layered works that are accompanied by original sound tracks that I have created with digital synthesizers.

Most of these works along with several documentary pieces can be viewed at or visit my personal Web site at

Selected Photographic & Digital Exhibitions:
2010: Invited to exhibit two video/music works "Intersections #1" and "Shadow Walking" to the Performance & Intermedia Festival held in Szczecin, Poland, June 19 - 20.
Streets of Philadelphia: Photography 1970-1985, exhibited two color prints and 20-minute DVD video "Circa '60s", The Print Center, Philadelphia 2009.
82nd Annual International Competition: Photography, The Print Center, Philadelphia 2008
"Intersections #1" as part of the International Festival of Independent Cinematography "KinoLev" project of Video Art "KinoLevchuk." Festival, Lviv, Ukraine, 2008.
Invited to exhibit two video/music works "Intersections #1" and "Shadow Walking" to the Performance & Intermedia Festival held in Szczecin, Poland, June 19 - 20, 2010.
2007: Visual music piece "Intersections #1" selected for the Online Gallery for the iV 11th International Conference Information Visualization in Zurich, Switzerland, and the CGIV 4th International Conference Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization in Bangkok, Thailand.
2006: Solo exhibition "Interpretations" 30 photographs, at Haverford College, Pa. Artist-in-residence at Haverford College spring semester.
2002: "Taken by Design" Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, San Francisco Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image included in the catalog/book from show.
2001: Iris print TimeMatrix exhibited at the Visual Arts Museum in NYC as part of the Ninth New York Digital Salon. Image was reproduced in Leonardo magazine, MIT Press.
2001: TimeWarp-Philadelphia invited to be shown as part of the IMAGINE 2001, F.E.S.T
Creative Media Lab, Högskolani Gävle, Sweden.
1995: HYMNS OF THE REPUBLIC, MYSTERY STREET and DECEPTIONS along with 19 digital prints selected as part of "Digital Vision/Digital Voice" exhibition at the Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, April 7 - June 24, 1995
1991: MYSTERY STREET selected for inclusion in the Siggraph 1991 Art Show as part of the Fine Arts Animation exhibition. It was also selected to be part of the traveling exhibition.
1991: "Philadelphia Art Now: Artists Choose Artists," Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.  MYSTERY STREET computer video installation piece.
1990: Invited to exhibit VICTIMS in the ARTIFICES (computer in art: invention, simulation) exhibition in the salle de la Légion d'honneur, Saint-Denis, Paris.
1988: Ink jet print exhibited at the IBM Gallery in New York as part of the "Computers and Art" exhibition.
1987: Three images from the Softlands series included  in the exhibition, "Extending the Boundaries of Photography," at the Center For Creative Photography, Tucson, Ariz.
1987:  Images from the Icons/Idols series selected for inclusion in the "Prix Ars Electronica '87" exhibition in Linz, Austria.
1986: Siggraph '86 Art Show. Installation of VICTIMS, consisting of four sequential image ink jet prints, and image/voice synthesis sequence performed on a Macintosh computer. Also selected for inclusion in the traveling version of the exhibition.
1985: Four prints included in the New Spirit of Photography exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.
1983: The computer images exhibited in the ELECTRA exhibition at the Musee d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, along with installation of the computer piece SOFTLANDS.
1982: Computer images selected for inclusion in Electronic Imaging Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden.
1969: "Vision and Expression," George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.
1968: "Light7," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

Guggenheim Fellowship - Photography 1972
UICA research grant
UArts Faculty Grants 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 2003 
WYBE Philadelphia Stories 5 2005

Published images in the following books: 
Photographic Possibilities: Third Edition 2008
Art of the Digital Age 2006
Neo-Impressionism: Artists on the Edge 2002
Taken by Design 2002
Design Principles & Problems 1999
Art of the Electronic Age 1997
Making Art Safely 1995
Philadelphia Images 1994
Photographing in the Studio 1993
The Complete Printmaker -Techniques/Traditions/Innovations 1991
Photographic Possibilities First Edition 1991
Photography - Davis Sixth edition 1990
Digital Imagery; Digital Visions 1987
Introduction to Visual Literacy 1987
Photography - Davis Fifth edition 1986
Drawing with Computers 1985
The New Photography 1983
High Contrast 1980
Photography: A Handbook of History, Materials and Processes 1974
The Art of Photography Time-Life Series 1971
Frontiers of Photography Time-Life Series 1972

Contact Info

Office: Anderson Hall 715
Tel: 215-717-6160
Fax: 215-717-6632