"While my work is documentary in spirit, I have struggled with the idea that documentary photography, regardless of the photographer’s concerns, arrives pre-loaded with an implicit assumption of advocacy. My work is not a performance of the ethical. I am concerned less with conscience than with consciousness."
A post-internet object is an object that looks good on a webpage, in your Facebook news feed or photo album, on Tumblr or Instagram — somewhere you can access with an internet connection and possibly, a screen, or something that lets you view information as something meant to be visually appealing, says Brian Droitcour. A post-internet object doesn’t trigger space. Post-internet artists do not consider art. Post-internet artists do not consider objects. Post-internet artists are not really artists. It’s about something else, something larger than life. I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors and that’s why I love you. Cindy Lauper is post-internet.
— A Letter To Young Internet Artists ̿ ̿’̵͇̿̿=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿/’̿ - ANIMAL (via photographsonthebrain)
June 24, 2014 at 1:22pm
Susan Meiselas's great quote: “The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don't belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.”
In the age of photography the memory of particular events became more and more closely associated with their visual images. In 1901, a leading Brazilian journalist, Olavo Bilac, predicted that his profession was doomed because the photograph would soon replace the description in writing of any recent occurrence.
— Peter Burke - Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence
p.140 (via disphotic)
Krakow Photomonth Festival 2014 How was it for you? Diane Smyth says Aaron Schuman’s take on the Krakow Photomonth Festival 2014 is well worth a look
Schuman was inspired by a statue of photographic pioneer Etienne-Jules Marey, he writes in the festival catalogue, which reminded him that the first photographers “were not so much aesthetes in search of a new and expressive artistic medium, but were instead ambitious scientists, researchers, scholars and polymaths in search of a visual tool that might serve support and substantiate their research – and their search for knowledge – within a broad spectrum of disciplines”. As such the exhibitions he’s put together – some of which were curated by others, with his input – “aim to explore how a number of contemporary artists, photographers, curators, academics, writers and historians – all polymaths in their own right – engage in research and use photography itself as a primary starting point for such searches within a broad spectrum of artistic and scientific disciplines, as well as how they employ, incorporate and manipulate the intricate visual language of this distinct medium in order to embody, express and critique such knowledge”
I worry about the teaching of photography in colleges and the emphasis on theory. You see degree shows and MA shows where students present half-digested theory and really dull photographs. I think the ascendency of the curator is a cause for concern as well. They sometimes seem more important than the artists, which is something Brian Eno predicted when I saw him gave a lecture at the beginning of the nineties. I like this essay by Paul Graham, which touches on some concerns of mine. I don’t think it helps to exclude people – or images – from the ongoing debate about the meaning of photography. Theory can be a way of entering and decoding a work but, too often, it seems to me like an end in itself. It’s still valid to walk out into the world with a camera and simply take photographs, though there is, of course, nothing simple about doing that well. I often detect a kind of implicit disdain for that approach from curators and academics.
— Sean O’Hagan (via photographsonthebrain)
Journalists on the Big Screen
Vice News and Nitehawk Cinema (in Williamsburg, BK for all you New Yorkers) present Journalists in Film, six films over six months that: “feature journalists as noble truth-seekers, catalysts for change, hustlers, and friends through rich cinematic storytelling.” Check them out here.
And you can order food at your seats.
Bonus: For those who have already seen every movie starring a journalist out there, try this out: A short doc that flips the equation and profiles a dynamic, self-made, hustling source: Greg Packer, aka the most quoted man in news, who has been a source in so many stories that the AP banned its reporters from interviewing him.
[Myth is] a theorem about the nature of reality, expressed not in algebraic symbols or inanimate abstractions but in animate narrative form.
A conversation with poet, linguist, translator, essayist, and Native American scholar Robert Bringhurst, author of the fantastic What Is Reading For?
Tolkien touched on this as well in his famous meditation on the language of fantasy.
Photographic projects for me begin when I am wandering, knowing the real reason I am there reveals itself over time. I have to be somewhat lost. It is not a particularly pleasant feeling - seeking by means of photographing. I want my pictures to make sense together. I want to be guided by a principle - that is when making art is so comfortable and generative. But sometimes, at the beginning of a project, I don’t get the benefit of that guidance. I wander, and I try to remember Keats’ idea of Negative Capability. That is, when a person is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after reason. I am a practical person. I generally have to have a reason to photograph all the while knowing I can’t invent that reason. I have to discover it through the act of photographing. That is why I give myself a fake project: to motivate me to search for the real one.
— fototazo: How to Start a Project: Jeff Whetstone (via photographsonthebrain)
April 13, 2014 at 10:30pm
5 Questions for Mike Davis the newly-appointed Alexia Tsairis Chair for Documentary Photography at Syracuse University, where he’s teaching, working with the Alexia Foundation and overseeing the Alexia grant competition.
3. How do you define, spot and cultivate talent — in a photographer? In an editor?
Having taught a few classes now, it’s becoming more clear who is more likely to be a photographer or an editor. Editor’s have to think beyond themselves. Their primary motivation has to be to help others grow, to tell stories and make systems work - outside of their egos. Editors have to be able to conceive of and communicate ideas that are about things outside themselves. Photographers, on the other hand, for the most part have to be so self involved that they can envelop what they photograph from a completely personal perspective. The more dimensional a person who makes pictures is, the more dimensional her photographs will be, the more they will connect with a subject. We are the photographs we make, they are us.
It’s hard to know whether someone will become phenomenal in either field until you give them opportunity - that’s why good schools are important. Some people have never had their nascent skills enlivened, others don’t have those skills to enliven.