Joshua Thorson Headshot

Joshua Thorson

Assistant Professor

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
College of Art and Design

Joshua Thorson

Assistant Professor

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
College of Art and Design

Education

BA, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; MFA, Bard College; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Shows/Exhibits/Installations
Thorson, Joshua. Oklahoma! Video Projections. 2018. St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. Oklahoma! video projections. 2019. Circle in the Square Theater, New York City. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design nomination. 2019. Town Hall, New York City. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua, et al. Special Citation Obie Award for Oklahoma!, video projections. 2019. New York, New York City. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua and Nick Hallett. To Music, Act IV, video projections. 23 Oct. 2019. Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua and Nick Hallett. To Music, Act III, video projections. 21 Jun. 2019. Issue Project Room, Brooklyn. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua, Five by Five, and Missy Pfohl Smith. Source of Light. 7 Dec. 2018. Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. In Xanadu. 12 Apr. 2017. Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. Installation.
Thorson, Joshua. Words and Works. n.d. Malmo University, Malmo, Sweden. Exhibit.
Thorson, Joshua. In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Director. Nigel Maister. 12-21 Oct. 2017. University of Rochester Todd Union Theater, Rochester, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. To Music (Act II). By Nick Hallett and Joshua Thorson. 15 Dec. 2016. Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. In Xanadu (part of Words & Works collab with MURIT). 11-22 Oct. 2016. Rochester Design Center, Rochester, NY. Installation.
Thorson, Joshua. To Music. By Nick Hallett and Joshua Thorson. 1 Apr. 2015. Roulette, Brooklyn, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. Requiem Reimagined. By Sleeping Giant, Daniel Fish, and Joshua Thorson. 21-22 Mar. 2015. Troy Music Hall, Troy, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. Oklahoma! Director. Daniel Fish. 6/25-7/19 Jun. 2015. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Performance.
Thorson, Joshua. Untitled (Room). 4-5 Dec. 2015. Lyric Opera, Rochester, NY. Exhibit.
Thorson, Joshua. Urban Renewal. By Kyle deCamp. 16-17 Jan. 2015. Storefront Theater, Chicago, IL. Performance.
Book Chapter
Thorson, Joshua. "untitled." Charles Atlas. Ed. Raphael Gygax, et al.. Zurich, Switzerland: JRP Ringier, 2019. 75-77. Print.
Published Review
Thorson, Joshua. "Aura Satz: Eyelids Leaking Light." Rev. of Eyelids Leaking Light, ed. Francis Morgan. The Wire 1 Apr. 2015: 82. Print.
Invited Article/Publication
Thorson, Josh. "Evenings in New York." Connu.co. (2014). Web.

Currently Teaching

PHGR-699
0 Credits
Cooperative Education will provide photography students with hands-on experience in their field, directly related to a student’s major with an established studio or related business. Students will need to apply for co-ops, and interview as part of the selection process, based on available positions posted by the Co-op and Career Services Office, or found through the students’ own research. In programs where co-op is a degree requirement, students must obtain permission of their program or graduate director prior to enrollment. Co-ops are typically paid work experience, and can be part-time (150-479 total hours within the term), or full-time (480+ hours within the term). Co-ops may be one or two consecutive terms - fall, spring, or summer – with department permission.
PHGR-892
0 Credits
The Continuation of Thesis Imaging Arts course provides students additional semester(s) to complete their thesis research, project, and thesis document.
PHGR-698
1 - 3 Credits
The Photography Internship will provide students with the option to work in the photographic field. Students may apply for internships to businesses based on the availability of positions and business needs. Students must obtain permission of an instructor.
PHGR-887
0 Credits
Cooperative Education will provide photography students with hands-on experience in their field, directly related to a student’s major with an established studio or related business. Students will need to apply for co-ops, and interview as part of the selection process, based on available positions posted by the Co-op and Career Services Office, or found through the students’ own research. In programs where co-op is a degree requirement, students must obtain permission of their program or graduate director prior to enrollment. Co-ops are typically paid work experience, and can be part-time (150-479 total hours within the term), or full-time (480+ hours within the term). Co-ops may be one or two consecutive terms - fall, spring, or summer – with department permission.
PHGR-890
6 Credits
Students produce a thesis as a component of the MFA degree in Photography and Related Media. The completion of the thesis exhibition, from artwork to the installation, is the focus of this course.
PHGR-704
6 Credits
This critique course is the second in a two semester sequence. Having established a working methodology in Studio Core I, students will continue to experiment and produce a significant body of work through critical engagement with their peers and their own research and experimentation. Successful completion of the course will result in advancement to half-candidacy via a formal review by MFA faculty.
PHAR-160
3 Credits
An introduction to digital photography – technical, aesthetic, conceptual – for non-photography majors. Through weekly assignments, students will become familiar with the operation of a DSLR camera body/lens, while exploring the basic principles of lighting, depth of field, design, blur/stop motion, accurate exposure, and image manipulation. Lectures will address photographic aesthetics, contemporary and historical practices, and professional applications. Students will learn to critique work through participation in discussions of photographic assignments. Students are required to have their own DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. Non-photo majors only. This course maybe repeated. "Fee – There is a lab fee required for this course**
PHGR-799
1 - 4 Credits
An independent study allows graduate students in the Photography and Related Media program the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should propose a course of study or project with clearly defined goals and outcomes. Students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll. **NOTE: Student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA *
PHAR-599
1 - 3 Credits
Photography Independent Study will provide students with the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, will propose a course of study. Photography Independent Study students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll.
FDTN-141
3 Credits
This course will introduce students to video, photo, sound, and lighting equipment are used to create short-form time-based work. The basic concepts of art and design in time and space. The course explores elements of moving images, such as serial, narrative ordering, still and moving image editing, transitions and syntax, sound and image relations, and principles of movement. The course will address historical conventions of time in art and recent technological advances. In focusing on the relations between students' spacing and timing skills, 4D Design extends and supplements the other foundation courses, and prepares students for further work with time-based media.
PHAR-150
3 Credits
An introduction to black-and-white still photography – technical, aesthetic, conceptual – for non-photography majors. Through weekly assignments, students will become familiar with the operation of a 35mm camera body/lenses and film processing/printing, while exploring basic principles of lighting, depth of field, principles of design, blur/stop motion, accurate exposure, and tone control. Lectures will address photographic aesthetics, in addition to historical, contemporary and innovative practices. Students will engage in the language of the critique through participation in discussions of photographic shooting assignments. Students are required to provide their own 35mm camera, film and processing, and photo paper. Non-Photo majors only. **Fee: Photo fee required**
PHAR-241
3 Credits
This course will further develop skills sets explored in the Foundations 4D Design course by introducing students to advanced techniques for shooting, lighting, color correction, audio formats, and multi-channel or multi camera editing, short-form moving media creation. The course will also explore the use of kinetic text, shape layers, and introduce the incorporation of 3D modeling into 2D video projects. Students will consider work by contemporary media creators as they plan and execute their own video projects. Upon completion of the course, students will have a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to create their own professional level video projects.
PHGR-716
3 Credits
In this course students will integrate writing, research methods, and experimental problem solving skills to further develop studio practices through integrated project based assignments and projects. Students will hone their skills in art practices, critical analysis, strategies for making, and writing about artwork through developing expanded practices within studio experimentation and artistic thinking. Throughout the semester, the students will become familiar with multiple research facilities throughout the University and the region.

In the News

  • August 19, 2020

    students in a classroom throwing paper airplanes.

    RIT students start semester with encouragement and precautions

    RIT welcomes a record number of first-year students today as classes begin in a semester that will look like no other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new students were welcomed Tuesday afternoon during an online convocation that featured several speakers, livestreamed without an audience from Ingle Auditorium.

  • May 4, 2020

    assistant professor Josh Thorson.

    Josh Thorson culminates rewarding, challenging year with Eisenhart Award

    It’s been an eventful year for Josh Thorson. The assistant professor of photography created the live video projections for the Broadway production of Oklahoma!, which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. He also was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design. And he is now the 2019-20 recipient of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Featured Work