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TO PHOTOGRAPH IS TO LEARN HOW TO WALK — a workshop with Tim Carpenter and Mike Slack

18 November 2023 @ 10:00 - 19 November 2023 @ 18:30

(Death by Camera)

a workshop with Tim Carpenter and Mike Slack

Micamera, Milan

18 November 2023 @ 10:00 19 November 2023 @ 18:30

“How shall we learn what it is our hearts believe in?” Archibald MacLeish once asked. For me the answer is working with and through the camera—a peculiar machine that is the most plainly useful thing I will ever encounter. Which makes me curious about the nature of the desire to make things in this way.
— from To Photograph Is To Learn How To Die by Tim Carpenter (The Ice Plant, 2022)


This workshop is led by two photographers and friends: Tim Carpenter, also a writer—author of the recently released book-length essay To Photograph Is To Learn How To Die — and Mike Slack, also an editor and a publisher, whose contribution to the design and the editorial success of the book was fundamental. Both Tim and Mike have been in Milan quite a few times, and Mike especially knows the city pretty well.


It will be an intense two-day, personalised, hands-on (and peripatetic) workshop, a dialogue with your surroundings and with each other, indoors and outdoors. The workshop will be held in English.


  • Two in-person full days (Nov 18 + 19) of lecture, assignment, critical review of existing work, and making new work for review.
  • One online followup session (DATE TBD) for group critique of assignment.

(photo by Mike Slack)


How does the camera affect our relationship with our surroundings and with our selves?  What is the nature of ‘camera’? Of imagination?

We will trace connections between the sensations of walking, the pleasures of text, the ‘useful fiction’ of photographic images, and the strange mechanisms of consciousness and ‘self.’ Guided by Tim Carpenter and Mike Slack, participants will lose themselves in the neighborhoods of Milan, find themselves through the act of making pictures, and review the results together, all while discussing the book’s themes and arguments. 
The workshop—two days, in person—will be primarily a physical exercise rooted in time and place. The follow-up—online, a few days later—will be a conceptual exercise within the headspace of the group. Participants should be prepared to walk outdoors for a few hours, to bring a few (non-photographic) books to consult, and to edit their work quickly for review. Reading To Photograph Is To Learn How To Die in advance is not required but is strongly recommended.


Mike Slack (b.1970) lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. A co-founder of The Ice Plant (theiceplant.cc, Los Angeles), his numerous photobooks include ‘The Transverse Path (or Nature’s Little Secret),’ ‘Walking in Place 1: New Orleans,’ ‘Walking in Place 2: Berlin,’ ‘Shrubs of Death,’ and three volumes of his Polaroids (‘OK OK OK,’ ‘Scorpio,’ and ‘Pyramids’). His most recent body of work — ‘The Mutation,’ a series of photographs made in northern Italy from 2020-2021 — in collaboration with Micamera and Gaia Giani – was exhibited at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (New York City) in 2022. His work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Click here for hisbooks, his portfolio, and the interview by Eugenio Tonoli

Tim Carpenter is a photographer, writer, and educator who works in Brooklyn and central Illinois. He is the author of several photobooks, among them Christmas Day, Bucks Pond Road; Local Objects; Bement grain; and The king of the birds. He holds an MFA in Photography from the Hartford Art School and is on the faculty of the Penumbra Foundation Long-term Photobook Program.

At Micamera, Tim curated the 18th anniversary exhibition by Raymond Meeks and Terri Weifenbach in 2021.

His books here

where: Micamera, via Medardo Rosso, 19 / Milano
when: Saturday 18 + Sunday 19 November 10am-6.30pm + a follow up (on line)
how many: maximum 13 students – minimum 6
cost: 350€ + VAT
info and subscribe: [email protected]