After completing a BFA in photography from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA, Susan Lakin freelanced in the commercial photography field in Los Angles. At Cinesite, a digital effects company, she supervised a team of employees as part of an in-house program to inspire creativity. This unique experience fueled her interest in groundbreaking computer technology. She found herself spending more time in the computer lab than a dark room and returned to graduate school to study digital arts, completing an MFA in Art Studio at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She assisted in research that included a multidisciplinary project involving multi-user online public spaces, an international CD-ROM book project, and she studied the integration of advanced computer technology on photography, exploring how the computer is redefining notions of identity, relationships, and sexuality.
Attracted to RIT’s strong photography and computer science programs, Susan accepted her current teaching position where she is now the Program Chair in Advertising Photography. Her photography explores our technological culture and examines our connection to electronic screens from televisions, computers, to hand held devices, examining how these displays frame and reflect upon our lives. She has exhibited internationally and her artwork is in the permanent collection of several museums. Concurrent to teaching at RIT, she pursued graduate coursework in Interactive Multimedia Development. In the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences she is developing interdisciplinary courses between the arts and computer science. Merging the classroom and her practice, this collaborative work blends visual art and music with audience participation using mobile devices and the web to enhance the concert experience and is being performed nationally. She is engaged with Augmented Reality and collaborates on projects in the museum setting, for publication, and educational tours. Her current research interests include a study on digital photographic libraries reflecting on our shifting digital culture.