Sherwin Rivera Tibayan, "Index (v7/CPW)", 2015. Unframed pigment prints, Edition #1 of 1, 24x36"

Sherwin Rivera Tibayan, “Index (v7/CPW)”, 2015. Unframed pigment prints, Edition #1 of 1, 24×36″


Sherwin Rivera Tibayan

Index began out of Tibayan’s frustration with the absence of an index in Susan Sontag’s book of collected essays, On Photography. He used part of his residency in 2012 to begin typing the essays into a searchable text document and learn the Chicago Manual of Style’s guide for indexing. He has continued to build the arrangement in the intervening years, allowing himself the time to get to know many of the works and artists cited.

In generating the recognizable form of an index—a word powerfully linked to a moment in photography’s theorization—Tibayan wants to encounter many of the ideas and problems that support canon building, subjectivity and expertise, the history of photography, and the visual nature of structured knowledge.


Born in the Philippines and based in Austin, TX, Sherwin Rivera Tibayan is a former Fulbright English Language Teaching Assistant in Austria and is a PhD student in American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. Exhibitions include Color Shift curated by Jordan Tate at Mixed Greens, Notes on a New Nature at 319 Scholes (both NYC) and Switch at XL Art Space (Helsinki, Finland). His work has earned him recognition as a finalist for Critical Mass (2011) and Fotovisura’s Student Spotlight Award (2010), and Honorable Mentions for the In Focus Photography Award (2010) and Flash Forward (2011). His project, The Histograms, received the 2012 Society for Photographic Education Award for Innovations in Imaging.

Sherwin Rivera Tibayan was a CPW Artist-in-Residence in 2012.