Archives

October 2004

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Oct 31

The general emptiness and yuckiness of Oliver Boberg’s photos are real - the locations aren’t. Those buildings are all card-board models. Impressive!
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Oct 30

I just bought Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s book Ghetto. It’s easily one of the finest photography books I’ve ever bought and I’m quite spoiled. The parts of the book are taken from Colors Magazine of which Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin are the editors. I found a few sound clips where they explain their way of work: one, two, three. There are more samples from the book here. Update (30 Oct 04): Online photo magazine ak47.tv features photos from Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s new book Mr. Mkhizes Portrait & Other Stories from the New South Africa. The book, which I bought a couple days ago, is very similar in style to the one shown in “Ghetto”. Recommended!
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Oct 30

Claudia Fährenkemper photographs are enlarged photomicrographs. I’m not sure I’d want to have a photo of an insect in my living room, though. In any case, the photos are quite impressive to look at.
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Oct 30

The consumer is nothing but a cash cow to be milked, and if there is one industry where this statement is particularly true it’s the so-called entertainment industry. Over the past years, record companies have re-issued old music on CD, adding the occasional snippet that really nobody needs. Worst offender in this respect are record labels dealing with jazz: They have inundated the market with re-issues that cater to the freak market - those 0.1% of jazz fans who actually like to listen to about 37 unfinished takes of the same song. Given the usual lack of “outtakes”, the “pop” market has instead opted for re-issuing “remastered” CDs that sound exactly like the original albums (unless you belong to those 0.1%… you get the idea). Matador Records has been quite the pleasant exception to this whole re-issue scam. After re-issuing Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted with two dozen extra tracks (get this, jazz fans: Two dozen extra tracks and no screwed-up takes!), they just re-issued Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain with an additional two dozen extra tracks. Well, if they keep doing this we will actually be able to ignore how Steve Malkmus, Pavement’s former front man, is turning into an “alternative” Lou Reed.
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Oct 29

You found a cool old camera but, unfortunately, it only takes 620 film. What is to be done? Well, you either buy 620 film; or you use 120 film and do a little trimming yourself. Now that’s neat!
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Oct 29

Well, there’s spam, and there’s spam, and then there’s the rare person who knows what to do with it. Brilliant.
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Oct 29

If there ever was an art of travel I’m afraid I’m not familiar with it (likewise for the art of attending a conference). Calling it the art of travel implies there is a technique to it, something that you can do to make traveling enjoyable. But what I’ve found is that traveling is mosty enjoyable when I do absolutely nothing to prepare myself for it; and then I do absolutely nothing that could take away from anything that might and, inevitably, will happen (however, note to self: In the future, avoid US Airways, the worst airline in the world, even if it is just one flight out of four).
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Oct 29

There’s a new web magazine called BZK Mag, launched by BZK Group, a group of Portuguese photographers (I’m sure you are familiar with some of their weblogs…). I was invited to contribute to BZK Mag, but regardless of that I think you might want to check it out in any case.
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Oct 29

This is big: The Economist - the magazine for people who believe you can eat money - endorses Kerry and calls Bush incompetent on its cover. This despite the fact that they support the Iraq invasion (citing the usual phony reasons).
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Oct 22

Christian Gieraths is a Düsseldorf art academy alumnus.
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Oct 21

David Fried works on photography and other art forms. I really like his photographic work. This page has a good overview for those too lazy to surf.
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Oct 21

Lewis Baltz’s architectural photography is quite amazing - even though, I bet, there are lots of people who’ll find it anything bu amazing. Find more info on Lewis Baltz here.
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Oct 20

“A 2003 study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis suggested a very real safety problem exists when drivers are paired with cell phones. “The study found an estimated 2,600 deaths a year could be linked to cell phone use. Cell phone use also is connected to approximately 330,000 moderate to critical injuries annually and 1.5 million instances of property damage a year, the study found. “But the Harvard researchers wanted to quantify the potential cost, measured in lost productivity, of banning cell phone use in cars. They concluded that taking cell phones away from drivers would cost $43 billion a year in lost economic activity — about the same economic value of the lost lives and injuries. ” Note how chatting on the phone in your car is filed under “productivity”: “Honey, I’m in a traffic jam, so I’ll be late for dinner.” Yeah right. And then comes the disclaimer that throws scientific integrity right out of the window: “The Harvard study, like an earlier 2000 study, was funded by AT&T Wireless.”
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Oct 20

Keith Cottingham takes photos that look like architectural photos or like portraits but are, in fact, photos of models and dummies.
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Oct 19

“The essential cruelty of Bush’s game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals then cloaks it with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world. And in the process he convinces them to lend unquestioning support for proposals that actually hurt their families and their communities. Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what rightfully belongs to the citizenry of America and give as much as possible to the already wealthy and privileged, who look at his agenda and say, as Dick Cheney said to Paul O’Neill, ‘this is our due.’” - Al Gore
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Oct 18

Doug Hall could be one of the usual suspects (Bechergurskyhoferstruth).
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Oct 18

Colby Caldwell’s work is colourful and experimental.
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Oct 15

I got this email from “Citibank” today that states “D‮ae‬r Cit‮knabi‬ Memb‮re‬, T‮ih‬s em‮lia‬ was se‮tn‬ by the C‮iti‬bank s‮vre‬er to v‮ire‬fy yo‮ru‬ em‮lia‬ ad‮erd‬ss. You mu‮ts‬ compl‮te‬e t‮ih‬s p‮or‬cess by c‮kcil‬ing on the li‮kn‬ be‮wol‬ and e‮iretn‬ng in the sm‮la‬l w‮dni‬ow y‮ruo‬ C‮biti‬ank A‮MT‬-Debit Ca‮dr‬ n‮bmu‬er and P‮NI‬ t‮tah‬ you use on A‮MT‬. T‮sih‬ is do‮en‬ for yo‮ru‬ prote‮oitc‬n - beca‮esu‬ s‮emo‬ of our membe‮sr‬ no lon‮reg‬ h‮va‬e acc‮sse‬ to th‮rie‬ ema‮li‬ addr‮sse‬ and we m‮su‬t ve‮yfir‬”. Something makes me think Citibank did not send this.
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Oct 14

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher are a married couple that is quite prolific. Check out German Indians/Karl May Festival, Bavarian by law, or Figurines.
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Oct 13

Christopher Becker has done a lot of work with what people usually call “light painting”. Go and have a peek.
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Oct 12

Richard Renaldi has a fairly large set of interesting portfolios. His series about gay and lesbian elderly is very nice - especially since he is living in a country where right-wing populists and religious fundamentalists are waging an increasing (albeit losing) campaign against homosexuality -, as is the highway series.
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Oct 11

Seze Devres’ photograms are probably the best of their kind I’ve ever seen.
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Oct 10

Lynn Davis’ portfolio contains very interesting photography of which I like the architecturial and technical shots the best.
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Oct 8

József Pécsi is another classic Hungarian photographer. I think the Eastern European photography history and scene has so far been vastly underrepresented compared with the Western European one.
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Oct 6

The Andrew Dickson White Architectural Photographs Collection at the Cornell University Library contains “approximately 13,000 nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs of architecture, decorative arts and sculpture.” (thanks, John!)
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Oct 6

Until today, I had never heard of Angelo (P疝 Funk) before. I bet you’ll be as amazed as I was when looking at the photos. Some of the 1920s photos have the look that many toy camera enthusiasts are trying to re-create now.
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Oct 5

Richard Avedon is dead. The New York Times has an extensive obituary. Update (5 Oct): Slate.com features a somewhat less hagiographic obituary, which might be the best I’ve read. There are some interesting and, for a(ny) photographer, somewhat disturbing observations in it, which it is tempting to dismiss - until you start to think about them.
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Oct 5

As if this wasn’t already obvious: “When the federal government issues a terrorist warning, presidential approval ratings jump, a Cornell University sociologist finds.” (story)
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Oct 4

Check out Frank Thiel’s excellent photography. More here. Oh, those Germans with all their Sachlichkeit!
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Oct 4

Hans Wilschut’s portfolio contains some very interesting night-time shots.
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Oct 3

Doing Photography and Social Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1948-1951, which contains photos taken by anthropologist John W. Bennett in occupied Japan (with comments by the photographer), contains an outstanding amount of information. (seen at wood s lot)
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Oct 2

One of the very first photography shows I went to was the big Richard Avedon retrospective they had somewhere in Cologne. It must have been about ten years ago, I can’t say for sure, and I knew nothing about photography and very little about art. There was something about the photos that struck me. The portraits were very honest and very revealing - especially the ones that weren’t too obviously staged. And they were big. You could see every pore, and it wasn’t always flattering for the people whose photos Richard Avedon had taken. There also was a certain timeless beauty about the photos. I don’t think the photos will get this somehow dated look that we know from, say, Karsh’s portraits; maybe Avedon’s work is closer to Horst’s. Horst’s photos only look a little dated because people dressed differently. Since I got the subscription of New Yorker magazine (read their obituary), I have seen many photos by Richard Avedon, maybe too many. I’ve always felt that despite his obvious genius as a photographer Avedon wasn’t able to produce good work every week - the occasional masterpiece notwithstanding (such as the portraits of Michael Moore - shown on Avedon’s website). But now that he is gone I will miss seeing the photos, I’m sure. Through his work and through the people who copied his technique (and/or willingness to show people as they are) Richard Avedon will stay with us. Portrait photography is probably the most difficult thing you can do, and I think it will take a long time before somebody else will be able to fill those shoes again.
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