The Digest – January 27th, 2013

©John Francis Peters‘Set Adrift in Western China’ [Time LightBox]

We appear to be on schedule for Issue 6. I’m in the process of writing a couple of pieces which means I probably won’t pay as close attention to what’s happening online for a couple of weeks. But really, how much can you miss? Most of the good pieces are the type that you can read now, or in two weeks or two months. The web can make it seem like there’s too much to absorb but there really isn’t, and there’s certainly not much that would require your attention immediately. Now, if you’re interested in more than just photography, then the web can get really distracting. That happens to me. For example, Vine was release on Friday (I believe) and I have a feeling we’re going to have some discussions pop up soon examining how it’s being used, and if it’s just another meaningless tool for creating more meaningless content.

Links of Note

Robert Frank says: 

I’m always looking outside, trying to look inside. Trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is always changing.

Joerg Colberg reviews ‘American Prospects by Joel Sternfeld (2012 Version) and has some things to say about photobooks editioning: 

Given that electronic versions of photobooks fall so short of the originals, and given that on-demand publishing has made such progress, it is not inconceivable that at some stage, out-of-print photobooks will be made available again as on-demand editions. These on-demand editions might not approach the quality of the originals (mainly the paper selection and print quality might differ, possibly the binding), but in all other respects on-demand photobook re-publishing would come closest to getting a copy of the original.

And then something that got me thinking:

Great art essentially is timeless; for photography, an art form so rooted in technology and thus tied, at least in a superficial way, to time periods, this poses a particular challenge.

Jim Johnson on ‘Another Fashion Disaster:’

I hardly am a fan of fashion photography or of the more general preoccupation with glamor. I’ve made that plain here many times before. My objections are not just that the industry exploits and endangers teen girls. Indeed, the urge to exploit seems to recognize no bounds. Now, apparently, when fashion photographers and editors exercise questionable judgement, exploiting hardship and suffering for fun and profit, everything is OK just so long as their melding of models and militarism rises to the level of “not wince inducing?” I will grant that Anie Leibovitz’s new series for Vogue perhaps is not as politically tone deaf as several made in recent years by, say, Rankin, or, worse,Steve Meisel. Indeed, it may not be as bad as some of the recent projectsshe herself has undertaken. So what? If you set the lower bound of offensiveness low enough, anyone can clear it.

Colin Pantall on the ‘use of new visual technologies:’

Anyway, I wonder if actually the really harmful thing Henner is doing by having his work online, and making slide shows and films that will be viewed on computer, tablet and iphone screens, is  that he implicitly promotes the use of new visual technologies.

How much damage does the manufacture of 100 iphones do to the world, how much damage does it inflict on the workers of China? What are the social effects of people talking to their devices rather than to each other, the instantaneous gratification of information, games, images and porn at your fingertips? And do we contribute to that with our pictures and our  films and our blogs?

digital dualism?

“Because it’s so easy to makes a photograph, only discrimination can sort out the ones that are worth attention, concentration and further distribution. Without an intellectual mechanism which says we are at least trying to identify quality […] then you get this meaningless transcription of pixels. Because it is so easy to make a photograph and so difficult to identify quality, there is always a gap there. Photographers, distributers and receivers need to spend more time learning how to look.” – Francis Hodgson

  • Julia Agnes

    like it!