A JPG Transcript of Jacques Derrida on Photography and Not Being Photographed

Since I started photographing, I’ve been fascinated by not photographing and the politics, problems, and peculiarities that surround what it means to make (or not make) a picture. Jacques Derrida, who famously refused photos of himself on his book own jackets, spoke of his photographic-fear in this interview on youtube, which may or may not be from this documentary, it’s been a few years since I watched it.

Below, a transcript of the interview, as a sequence of cropped (and subtitled) screenshots.



























































































Paul Nicklen on the Pleasures of Not Photographing

Before describing how a leopard seal tried to feed him live penguins, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen spoke to Melissa Block on NPR about the pleasures of not photographing:

“A lot of photographers see the world through their cameras. And I love these animals so much — I like to just sit there, and watch. So no, you have these experiences, and they’re almost as special as the pictures themselves. When I’m on my deathbed, I’m going to be thinking of the bowhead experience and I’m not going to be looking at a bunch of pictures on my wall.”

(Related: Unphotographable, and something I wrote here a long while ago and cannot locate about No Flash Corner and how I used to go there and not take any pictures at all, that I’d watch people and try to learn something about light and people and photography (and how each elbows the other) without putting my camera in anyone’s face, and I realized I learned as much from watching and not shooting as I did when I was shooting, and realizing that, knew that (for me) photography wouldn’t be about the flat photograph, but rather the being there inside the  w i d e  experience. Many of us ratchet between photographic affection for the emulsion-on-the-neg or the proof-that-you-exist-care-and-were-there or the magic of seeing the image reveal itself in a print, but the root of all of them is to arrive in the first place, ready for anything, with honest interest and your eyes wide.)

Barrage of Questions for Michal Chelbin


© Michal Chelbin

When the barrage of questions finally started, what the audience wanted to know was: How do you achieve such seamlessness, and such precise—and natural—lighting? Do you shoot digital? No. Do you use special film? No, Kodak or Fuji. A particular speed? 800 for color, 3200 for black & white. A special camera, perhaps? The same Hasselblad and the same lens, always. Photoshop? No—never!

via New Yorker Blog, and/or see Chelbin’s book Strangely Familiar.

Photojournalism, Activism and the New Technology

I’m part of a panel discussion this Saturday, Sept. 20th, the year anniversary of the march on Jena, Louisiana. I’ll be speaking with photographer Jim Alexander at Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta, GA, from 2-5pm. This discussion is in conjunction with “The Jena Project“, my exhibition that’s currently on view at Opal Gallery, through Sept. 27th.

I’ll try and upload some pictures of the installation for those of you who are interested, but far away, and there are plans to record the discussion as well, for the same reason. If you’re local, I’ll see you there!

Photojournalism, Activism & the New Technology

Against Ease: or How the Inifinitely Reproduceable Pushes Us Further From the Source

Does Richard Serra work with steel because it’s easier than aluminum? Does Lucian Freud paint with oil because it’s easier than spray paint? I can’t understand why an artist (in any field) would choose a particular medium because it’s easier to work with. You choose your medium because it’s the strongest, most expressive tool for delivering your particular message, right?

Last weekend I spent a full day in our new color darkroom. A few of us here in Atlanta have pooled resources, formed a collective, and rented a studio space. We purchased and installed a massive color processor. We are making beautiful 30×40 prints the old-fashioned way, with enlargers. It takes time and attention. The resulting prints (those from my studiomates, especially) are some of the best color prints I’ve seen.

6 20x24 Oprahs

Not all photographers are artists, and not all photographers want to make art. There’s a difference between taking pictures and making photographs, I guess. But one thing I can’t understand are fine art photographers who choose their particular tool(s) based on what’s easy. What’s that about?

If you were to interview a random cross-section of photographers who shoot digitally, and asked them why they shot digitally, most would say, “because it’s faster, cheaper, and easier.” I came (back) to photography via digital, but soon migrated to mainly/only film. I prefer how film looks, across the board. I’ve found the right tool for me.

There are those who don’t prefer either film or digital — I wish I were one of them, but I’ve seen one too many poorly printed (and overpriced) exhibitions of too many oversharpened, fashionably unsaturated, over-processed jpgs. (The exceptions are those who use digital to their advantage, to create work that couldn’t be made otherwise, work that speaks to the particular nature and strength of working digitally, but they’re few and far between.)

So, I’m back in the darkroom. It’s slow going, and it’s an anachronistic step backward in many ways, but just because digital photography was invented doesn’t mean analog photography was an exhausted medium. There’s still so much room there to work and explore and pursue. Yes, it’s cumbersome and relatively difficult, and the lure of the new (and everything fast, cheap, and flexible) is strong, my child.

I like prints that speak to the entirety of a photographer’s talents. Prints that show-off the ability to put image to paper, to create something real, something that will last and be a living memory, be infinitely ponderable. But frankly, aside from the great folks at 20×200, or fellow blogger ZS, I can’t see why anyone’s purchasing editioned digital prints. What’s the treasure in owning something that’s potentially infinitely (and inexpertly) reproduceable? I mean, how different is a digital print of your fantastic photograph any different than this? Because it’s sprayed with luster?

An aside: in some ways, the pricing of digital fine art prints seems to be a shift-away from paying for an actual print to paying for all the expense that went into creating the work that led to this actual print, because making the actual print is relatively cheap. And there’s something a lot less seductive in that, to me, as someone who might like to buy a print. I want to pay for the worth of the thing itself, not the artist’s overhead. I’m off my argument here, but I hope you’re still with me.

I want to see the artist’s hand, and I don’t see it in arbitrary edition sizes of digital prints. An edition of 1 makes sense to me, but beyond that, why stop at 5, or 10, or a thousand? (Please don’t say, “to create the appearance of exclusivity and desireability, my friend.”)

I’m in the process of printing two shows. One will have digital prints, in part, but the work is about digitalness, even if the original photographs were shot on film. The second show will be all analog prints, each created by hand, and the process has been incredible. The satisfaction of printing in the dark on Fuji Crystal Archive rather than google searching for some obscure Hannehmuelle printer driver cannot be measured. Which is why most photographers outsource their printing altogether. Leave it to the experts, I suppose.

Mine are cranky old arguments, usually voiced by someone whose been in the business decades longer than me. As someone relatively new to it all, I find it interesting to see so much of the photography culture fall under-the-spell of the ease of shooting digitally, both professionally, and for fine art projects. A critical exception, and a fine example of a photographer who can really write, here.

My impression is that the business of photography exerts too much influence over the easily-influenced artist, from the printer-cartridge rep, to the stock photography buyer, earnest photo editor, and gallery owner. Each and all have created a playing field that requires photographers to produce work that’s faster, cheaper, and easier. As a whole, the handmade, carefully considered print is becoming obsolete.

If you miss the magic of photography, it’s still out there for the price of a few ingredients. Craigslist is a remarkable resource, and prices for darkroom equipment range from cheap to free. Processors can be had too, as labs are getting rid of them left and right.

There’s something about the stew of doing-it-yourself that feels sustaining. Suddenly, your work feels like real Work, not “work”. And bonus! You spend less time with your eyes crossed, whileseated at a computer. The result is completely controlled by you and your intention, not by the whims of Joe Laser at digitalprintville.com. (Like I said, there are great exceptions to this, and amazing people doing great things with digital prints, but they’re too few and far between. They’re not printing the majority of shows I’ve been seeing, that’s for sure.)

If you’re inclined, take photography back, a print at a time, while you still can, and show us what the business has missed. It’s easier than you think.

I meant this. See you at (or from) Invesco on Thursday. Be well.

Until November…

My updates here will be fewer and further between until the dust clears in November. Atlanta Celebrates Photography (my great day job) is in high gear through the end of October, and I have two shows to print and install in the next two months. Each will be a bit more than a traditional gallery show — with prints, sound, projection(s) and secret sauce.

Friends and like-minded fine art photographers here in Atlanta have gotten together and set-up our own color processing lab (I know, right?) and I spent most of the weekend getting acquainted with the Kreonite beast, through which I’ve been making archival, analog C-prints for “So Help Me“. I’ll write about analog prints another time — both the why and what for. Color me pixelated.

For previews of my two shows, please see The Jena Project, and again, “So Help Me“. Both are the result of efforts over the past year and half, since moving to the South, and I’m eager to see them up-close, and to be able to share them with folks, in their final (offline) form.

If you’re at the Convention in Denver next week, give a holler, or if you pass through ATL between now and early November, ping me (address up top on the right). At the least, I can recommend a good thing (or 2) to see.

‘Til then…

Oobject.com Kills Boring Typological Photography

oobject.com is fantastic because it’s a photography site that doesn’t know it’s a photography site, in that it obsessively categorizes pictures of all kinds of “objects” (like the gun cameras & general stores, below) and then, wait… wait for it… folks vote on them.

I generally don’t trust the “wisdom of crowds”, but oobject has a good thing going. Here are a few that seem both categorically and photographically interesting: Worst General Lee, Control Rooms of All Types, 9 Walls of Death.

Soon (if not already), curators, gallerists, and photo festivals will come to the realization that curating via the Interweb isn’t just stupid easy, it’s a plethora of riches. The best part is how a site like oobject is beating all of them to the punch.

guns

generalstore

Somewhat related: I cannot for the life of me find an online curation project that was done by an artist/photographer, and included some incredible stuff — I hope someone’s seen it and knows what I’m talking about and can leave a suggestion in the comments. It seemed to be the result of google image surfing, and it wasn’t Mr. Tiny Vices. I think some of the links were hand-drawn images, but that’s about all I can recall…

Thanks, Paperspray!

Recontextualizations

Kenneth Goldsmith is a poet who transcribes radio reports from 1010 WINS & retypes the New York Times & transcribes entire Yankee games. If we relieve art of imagination, we’re left with the verity of exactly what’s in front of our noses, which, in a not-so-roundabout way, sounds similar to a good deal of contemporary photography.

I appreciate an act of documentary that’s so complete, it’s a carbon copy of what happened. What happened? The 1010 WINS traffic report happened, and here it is, exactly, as before — so why does it sound so different, so mysterious, so evocative? (Sound like photography, yet?)

Gotta love the folks out on the edge, making the rest of us furrow our brows.

Link: NPR, “Uncreative Writer Retypes the New York Times“.

Overwriting from the New York Photo Festival

The foto8 crew ironed-out the technical difficulties and posted my (overwritten) write-up of Roger Ballen’s talk at the New York Photo Festival, “Midnight Mythologizing in Roger Ballen’s Shadow Chamber“. When I wrote it, I was being glib about Ballen ruining the programming by putting in such a great performance in the opening slot on Thursday. His talk remains the festival highlight, by far. (Andrew has been frothing about it, too.)

Storytime w/ Roger Ballen

Simon Gill’s analog slide-show (who doesn’t love the clack-clack of a slide carousel?) came in a strong second, yesterday. I hope to include a bit about it in a recap for foto8 on Sunday.

My main question is this: why isn’t the man below, Mr. Lars Tunbjork, who’s part of Kathy Ryan’s “Chisel” exhibition, speaking at the festival? (Yes, he’s at the festival, and in this picture he is in fact speaking.) Someone please give Mr. Tunbjork a microphone and a podium, I’d like to hear what the man has to say.

Lars Tunbjork, speaking

Update: I’ve posted the article below, to gird against dead linkage, in the future:

Midnight Mythologizing in Roger Ballen’s Shadow Chamber
by Michael David Murphy for foto8, 16 May 2008

About 72 minutes into the inaugural New York Photo Festival, something happened that I can’t completely explain, but it was the kind of thing that makes you look around the room to see if anyone else has fallen out of their chair. Roger Ballen, the South African (by way of New York) geologist whose psychologically demanding black-and-white squares from his series “Shadow Chamber” are the heavyweight champion of Kathy Ryan’s “Chisel” exhibition, took a microphone from the podium and began to walk into the middle of the stage.

He cleared his throat, and then changed his voice into flat patter, a sing-song sinister “I am going to tell you a story now kiddies” kind of voice that seemed completely at odds with this man, standing on stage in a green-striped sweater that looked like it was stolen from Mr. Rogers.

Welcome to Story Time with Roger Ballen. Check your nightmares at the door…
If it’s 11 o’clock in the morning, and there’s an entire day of photo-progamming staring you down (wait, four days!), and Ballen has said his opening thankyous and is striding into the middle of the stage, you might just want to leave — because nothing is going to be as challenging, as bizarre, or as downright revelatory as what Roger Ballen is about to say. In trying to walk with that malfunctioning microphone, and beginning to speak in that voice, Roger Ballen single-handedly ruined the rest of the Festival.

Verging on performance art, Ballen asked the audience – no, willed the audience, into imagining a “building of the mind” that exists as much in real space as it does in the dark corners of one’s cerebellum. In that building (as Ballen explained), cats, rabbits, horses, dogs, and sheep roam free, on all three floors, with children, criminals, murderers and rapists. Got that? The building is three floors, and on each floor is a long hallway lined with doors, and some of the doors are closed, and some are open. Ballen’s trip, essentially, is seeing what’s in each room, or chamber.

If Joseph Cambell said, “myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths”, those of us at Ballen’s lecture were in the deep-end of Ballen’s public dream, a vision as private and singular as any I’ve witnessed. When introduced by Ms. Ryan, photo editor of the New York Times Magazine, Ryan referenced Picasso, Pollock, and Twombly, visual touchstones that might help those more educated in painting feel comfortable with Ballen’s creations. (In fact, after the lecture, I witnessed a newly-minted Ballen admirer remarking that it all made sense now, after Twombly.)

In taking us to the source of his vision, Ballen surpassed any relative critique as to the merits of his photography; the sum total of his effect was that at the end of the hour, I walked out of the lecture hall, looked around, remembered I was at a photography festival, and felt a little let-down. I wanted more stories.

Strangely, it was hard to tell if Ballen was operating off a script he’d written and memorized (his delivery was slow and practiced, as a storyteller’s, pausing for effect) or if he was making it up as he went along. Either way, it was hard to know where exactly, these stories about the “Shadow Chamber” came from. Did the stories come first, and the pictures were the afterthought? Did the stories arise a kind of mental exercise to buffer Ballen from explaining work that resists explanation? It’s hard to know, but if you’re going to present an hour’s worth of slides, and you’re Roger Ballen, why not go a step further, and make the photographs live in all of their dark complexity by creating a pure, vivid extension of the mystery that’s in their frames.

Interspersed with stories about boys who didn’t want their pictures taken, and the goose that “got the flash in its eye”, Ballen dropped photo-wisdom, the kinds of things that I didn’t hear anywhere else yesterday, like “you really can’t say anything about good work, you just know it’s there.” And “don’t use those art words you read in the magazine, they’re overused.”

He spoke about the decisive moment even, and while declaring its overuse, said there’s really no better way to say it, and talked about how his mere breath changes the careful compositional arrangements in his pictures. “Most art photography sits there like styrofoam on the seat. Some moment has to come out that makes you believe you’ve come to the right place in the road.”

Disinterested, in “cultural reality”, Roger Ballen spun a synthetic fantasy that boldly supported his work, and most in attendance were happy to fall into his net. It was an hour when the business of photography was kicked to the curb, and in its place, in a darkened lecture hall, one man bravely breathed life into his artistic vision, and bathed in the light of his slides, held it up, for the rest of us to marvel.

Looking up from the stage at another of his pictures, he said, “things that are profound don’t go ice skating on the mind.”

Indeed, Mr. Ballen, indeed.

On the Media on the Conflict Genre

One of my favorite podcasts, “On the Media” had a great show last week with an interview w/ my hero Sy Hersh. Then, an analysis of Capa’s lost photos with the director of ICP, and later, a great piece with journalist Jim Lewis, who makes a strong argument against war photography, based on his own experiences in the Congo.

“I would be talking to friends and family and people that I worked with and trying to explain what was going on in the Congo and what I had seen, and I would show them these photographs along with others. And I just found that they got in the way of trying to tell the story I wanted to tell, and that, in fact, rather than clarifying the story, the shock of the photographs had a tendency to derail both my telling of the story and other people’s understanding of it.” – Jim Lewis

Broken Hotel Window Towel Head Telephone Call

Another Same Same, But Different, following our city’s visit by a twister this weekend. Top photo from Chris Stanfield of the AJC, the bottom, from Erik S. Lesser & the New York Times.

2point8 homebase is fine, though not far from the twister’s path. We watched the incredible lightning storm that preceded it, but were fairly oblivious of its passing. Downtown, Vine City and Cabbagetown are still a bit upside-down.

0008115903
window

Finke’s Flight Attendants

If you’re interested in documentary photography, and are curious about how it can be extended in a more artistic direction (through close, sustained involvement and project focus) check out Brian Finke. I fall into a category of people who admire his work a great deal; the Spring Break book is phenomenal, the Cheerleading book is great, and this new flight attendant book looks good, too.
finke
© Brian Finke

He has a show opening at ClampArt in NYC later this month. Wired Magazine has a selection of the flight attendant pictures and a brief Q & A. Some of the comments, as such, are par for the internet course:

“uhh…is this person related to the reporter? these are some rather mundane images. heavy on the strobe, light on the composition.”

Amy Stein’s 1st Solo Show

When I’m talking to gallery folks or collectors or fans of photography, and they want to see something new, there are four or five photographers whose work I eagerly recommend. One of them is Amy Stein.

amy-domesticated_15
© Amy Stein

The good news for Amy is that she has her first solo show in California at Paul Kopeikin Gallery. It’s of her “Domesticated” work, and the show opens on February 16th.

“Domesticated” involves intricate staging, animal trainers, and all kinds of behind-the-scenes production, but within that framework, Amy manages to deliver photographs that feel alive and are very much of the moment. Unlike the wide swath of fine art photographers who use production techniques to overcome still photography’s inherent limitations, Amy doesn’t employ production for production’s sake, she uses it to amplify her documentary chops and deliver views that are as aesthetically charged as they are conceptually sound.

Go check them out.

Domesticated
Photographs by Amy Stein
February 16 through April 26, 2008
Paul Kopeikin Gallery
6150 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Telephone: 323.937.0765

“So Help Me…” Views from the Southern Primaries (Part 2)

GO VOTE if you can today, you hear? Sign-up for my mailing list when you get a chance, too. Here’s what I sent out last night, much of which is copied below. Here’s the first installment of these pictures. We’ll all be sick of campaign photos by November, if we aren’t already!

(The upside-down Chuck Norris sign from a Mike Huckabee rally reads, “Chuck Lost His Virginity Before His Dad”.)

Outtakes and Selects from “So Help Me…
© MDM, 2008

Drum Roll for Barack Obama,
Atlanta, GA

Jacketed Pomeranian for Hillary, Atlanta, GA

X039-roll3-1

John McCain Sign Performing Arts Center Rug

Watching Barack Obama, Atlanta,
GA

x039-roll5-14

X039-roll3-2

Mike Huckabee, Candidate for President of the United States, Macon, GA

Presi, Macon, GA

Reacting to CNN, Barack Obama Victory Rally, Columbia, SC

Hillary Clinton, Jamil Temple, Columbia, SC

Barack Obama, Candidate for President of the United States, Atlanta, GA

Marching Band Leader's Tie, Columbia, SC

x029_10

Outtakes and Selects from “So Help Me…
© MDM, 2008

More Press Photography from the Primaries that Doesn’t Lack

Thanks for the pings about “Why Press Photography of the Presidential Primaries Lacks, as a List“. In Columbia, JL tipped me off to Chris Anderson’s unbelievable take on Huckabee (below), and Cary pushed me to check out all of Anderson’s New Hampshire work.

NYC73937
© Chris Anderson, Magnum Photos

Ian sent me a link to Bill Pearce talking about Arthur Grace’s “Choose Me“, from the ’88 campaign trail. I like Grace’s squares a lot. Copies of the book can be found for a few bucks on alibris, or via the author.


© Arthur Grace, from “Choose Me

Why Press Photography of the Presidential Primaries Lacks, as a List

* Wasted access. I watched a press photographer spend two minutes photographing Barack Obama during his election-eve rally in Columbia, and the next 30 minutes wirelessly filing those pictures from his laptop while sitting in the photographer’s pit directly to the right of the stage. It’s kind of like having a front-row ticket to Led Zeppelin and sleeping through the set.

* Uniform access. Big News Media Event photography is geared toward broadcast television, so photographers are shoved-up on risers with the tripods, lights and TV crews. Consequently, most press photographers have the same camera with the same ginormous lenses, because they need to zoom-in on subjects that are relatively far away. This is why there are a thousand different versions of this, which offers nothing more than a screen capture from a television broadcast.

21408737
© Doug Mills, New York Times

* Because it’s standard practice for photographers to have the exact same gear (huge lenses that mimic those of television cameras) you rarely see photographs that express a true, personal vision, with occasional exceptions. Photo editors, stock agencies and wire services are apparently not interested in personal vision either, so the system creates, eats and digests its own mountain of boring photography.

* If security is a concern, and especially if the Secret Service is involved, movement and interaction between the press area and “the people” will be restricted. This prevents the press from having access to real people who are attending the event. And we wonder why our media runs variations of the same story, over and over? While seated in the press cage, one wonders if the barriers are there to keep the public out, or to keep you in.

* Access depends on who you talk to and when you talk to them. Passes matter, but so does charm. I had good luck shooting events as a regular person, and bad luck shooting events as a member of the press. Press passes aren’t required to get good photographs, and occasionally they’re a kind of curse (see above item). How could I get into an event that was closed, while the BBC was denied?

* If you see pictures of the candidates photographed at close quarters, it’s because
a.) the event is small, so access is free & easy
b.) the photographer is a member of the traveling bus that follows a particular candidate everywhere, which equals better access
c.) the pictures were taken during a 2-minute window, when photographers are rounded-up, escorted to the front of the room, only to return to the back a few minutes later, a la rock shows
d.) the photographer was quick on their feet and captured the candidate during entrance or exit, when handshaking and mingling is acceptable

I don’t mean to indict all the election coverage, I’m just amazed at the paucity of work out there that delivers anything more than its face value. I’ve been struck by Todd Heisler’s wide-open lenswork, Damon Winter‘s hustle (he was really working hard at a JE event), Yana Pasklova’s streetish action shots, and Callie Shell’s Obama story for TIME. I loved Bruce Gilden‘s project. Is it strange that most of these folks shoot for the Times?

But pound for pound for pound for pound for pound, I appreciate how Doug Mills is able to create psychological spaces for the characters in his set plays.

In the end, all of this increases my respect for Christopher Morris’ “My America“, which is a good book if you know it, but a far better book if you’ve seen the ins-and-outs of what these campaigns are really like. Pretty amazing to deliver such a cohesive vision across such wide variance of locations and situations. Incredible, really.

“So Help Me…” Views from the Southern Primaries (Part 1)

I wanted to share with those of you who’ve x030_10 given me a supportive shout in the past few weeks, both virtually, financially, and with loaned cameras, that I’m getting a handle on things. All this burglary business will probably drive this blog in a more personal direction this year. You’ve been warned! Unsubscribe now!

A friend asked why I was shooting the campaigns, and I told her they were the most visually interesting thing happening right now. I’m full of crap, but there are a lot of pictures out in the Primary fray, so I figured I’d poke around and see what I might find. Make a mess, sort it out later. No high art or finished edit here; a few from the Edwards & Obama campaigns. I bailed on Huckabee yesterday, but I’ll be back in South Carolina with the Dems this weekend.

Thanks again for all of your support (and cameras!).

Giant Sweet Potato, John Edwards Supporters, Barnwell, South Carolina
Giant Sweet Potato & John Edwards Supporters, Barnwell, South Carolina

John Edwards Back Pocket Bumper Sticker, Barnwell, South Carolina
John Edwards Back Pocket Bumper Sticker, Barnwell, South Carolina

Vying for John Edwards' Attention, Barnwell, South Carolina
Vying for John Edwards’ Attention, Barnwell, South Carolina

John Edwards is Photographed, Barnwell, South Carolina
John Edwards is Photographed, Barnwell, South Carolina

"MLK March  - Obama Chant List", Atlanta, GA
"MLK March – Obama Chant List", Atlanta, GA (Click for detail)

Barack Obama Button and Fur, Atlanta, GA
Barack Obama Button and Fur, Atlanta, GA

.
Obama Supporters, NH Primary Party, Atlanta, GA (Link to audio slideshow)

New Hampshire Primary Party - Obama Supporters, Atlanta, GA
New Hampshire Primary Party – Obama Supporters, Atlanta, GA (Link to audio slideshow)

Pink Coat & Leopard Print Stockings, Listening to Barack Obama, Atlanta, GA
Pink Coat & Leopard Print Stockings, Listening to Barack Obama, Atlanta, GA

New Projects Include Tilt-Swing Oprah

I’ve been working on a lot of new stuff this fall. Some of it’s been successful, some not, but it’s always fun to try new things, a la Jena. One of the best things has been discovering the ins-and-outs of shooting with a big camera (never oil a stuck shutter, use lighter fluid!).

At any rate, here’s tilt-swing Oprah (a first-time phrase for the Web) last weekend, in South Carolina. Turned a few pics and some audio into a vid as well, below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxQ3XQVGhbU]

Slideshow Perfection = Chopped Liver

I don’t know much about Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. (They edited COLORS.) I saw them make a brief appearance in “Genius of Photography“, so I checked-out their pictures and soon moved to something else.

Their latest work, “FIG“, stopped me in my tracks. It’s a slideshow, of sorts, that can be viewed in its entirety on their site choppedliver.info. It landed in my RSS reader via the Host Gallery, a small photojournalism gallery I was lucky to visit twice this summer, in London.

giffig
“Fig 1″, Broomberg and Chanarin

On the Host podcast, Broomberg and Chanarin read quick, flat descriptions of the pictures that comprise “FIG”, and as the slideshow progresses, threads of narrative emerge. Not capital-N narrative, but the more eliptical, quicksilver kind.

I can’t even tell you exactly what FIG is about. It’s a specific kind of encyclopedia. While watching it, I thought, “this is the Museum Of Jurassic Technology of slideshows.” In fact, one of the themes of FIG is collecting and organizing and typologies, as seen in the Booth Museum, in Brighton. Unlike nearly everything I see on the Web, I can’t wait to go back and have a 2nd and 3rd look. FIG reveals the art of the slideshow, as much as it may or may not reveal the art of photography.

Have a look; see what develops. Steidl has FIG slated for publication soon.

Harmony Korine Ad

Glad to see something new from Mr. Gummo, though I just saw that effect in some Rose Lowder films. Everything’s been done, folks!

Am posting it here because it’s getting closer and closer to this street video idea from last year. I’ve actually found an incredible example from a video artist in San Francisco – will try and spring that here soon. Trying to set-up a quick Q&A with her.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6D_s1aE-Ac]
via horsesthink