Archives

October 2007

SELECT A MONTH:

Oct 31

Can you guess which of the following is real and which is a parody before clicking on the links? An Extra Hour of Halloween Daylight? Thank the Candy Lobby Child On White House Tour Momentarily Seizes Control Of Nation
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Oct 31

Have a look at Tanyth Berkeley’s portraiture. For those interested to learn more about it, there’s an interview here.
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Oct 31

I get a link, think “Oh, great, new photos to look at!”, click on it. First thing, the browser is re-sized to fit the screen (how annoying!), so I revert that, then look. It’s the front page that is largely empty except for, smallish somewhere, the word “Enter”. Wow! Zen! Let go yee who enter here! Click! - another window pops up, about a sixth of the size of the screen [if you watched this whole process on TV, at this stage the bleeping over the audio would have to kick in]. The little screen is empty, except for a little wheel-like thing that appears to be rotating: I better wait. Who knows what for. The little wheel disappears. Now the screen is really blank. Oh wait, there’s a name slowly appearing somewhere. OK, now I got a little screen with a name. Having been through this before, I know I now have to move my mouse all over the little screen [*bleeeeeeeep*] until I find something. Oh wait, there’s something, I don’t know what it is, but let’s click. OK, I get a photo. Not bad. Now I want to see another one. But how? I move the mouse over the photo. No reaction. I click. No reaction. [*gratuitous bleeping*] Another photo appears. I must have done something. But what? There’s no way to tell. Eventually, I discover that if I move my mouse to a certain location, there’s a tiny “+”. Apparently, “+” means “next image”. How would I not know that: I must be getting old. OK, I’ve had enough, how do I get back to the main window? I start to wiggle the mouse all over the screen [*bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*, my cats start running from the room, and my wife comes in to ask whether everything is alright], in the end, I decide to close the window and click on “Enter” again (well, only on a good day really, but let’s just assume…). The same photo as before. However, I’d like to see something else. Is there anything else? In fact, what does it all mean? How do I find out? Will I ever find out? Apparently not, since finally I give up.
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Oct 30

Jacqueline Hassink “is most known for her global photo art projects that deal with the world of economic power.”
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Oct 29

While I had decided earlier that I was done with Higher Education, after having started at the new job I found too much to just walk past, so I gave myself another roll of film to shoot. When I got my camera set up for this photo, one of the Chinese graduate students walked by. He stopped, looked at me and then at what I wanted to take a photo of, to finally ask me what it was. This it was, and it came out exactly the way I had seen it.
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Oct 29

An interesting (ab)use of an iconic image was pointed out to me by Tom O’Doherty, who found the following in a lengthy New York Times Magazine article about the American religious right: “Later, as a choir in stars-and-stripes neckties and scarves belted out ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’ a cluster of men in olive military fatigues took the stage carrying a flag. They lifted the pole to a 45-degree angle and froze in place around it: a re-enactment of the famous photograph of the American triumph at Iwo Jima. The narrator of a preceding video montage had already set the stage by comparing the Iwo Jima flag raising to another long-ago turning point in a ‘fierce battle for the hearts of men’ - the day 2,000 years ago when ‘a heavy cross was lifted up on top of the mount called Golgotha.’ A battle flag as the crucifixion: the church rose to a standing ovation.” What a weird mix of photography, propaganda, and kitsch! A better person than me to comment on this would probably be Jim, though.
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Oct 29

“The Interior Ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is taking a new tack in the fight against homegrown terrorism. It’s using a comic book - complete with colorful images and ‘youthful’ language - to battle nasty jihadism.” (story)
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Oct 29

Check out Pavel Romaniko’s series “Russia” (both parts) - excellent work!
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Oct 29

“Amateur photographers and independent filmmakers looking to chronicle bird life, take snapshots in Times Square or capture the distinctive thrum of New York’s streets will not need to obtain permits or insurance under new rules being proposed by the Bloomberg administration. […] The proposal, drafted as part of a settlement in a lawsuit, was revised after a passionate outcry over the summer from fine-art photographers, independent filmmakers and civil libertarians concerned that the original rules would have restricted unobtrusive video recording.” (story)
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Oct 28

I can’t seriously pretend to speak any Italian, but I thought I’d say welcome to all the people who’ve come to have a peek at this blog after reading about it in Internazionale.
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Oct 27

Mrs. Deane made it into one of Holland’s largest newspapers, De Volkskrant, which published a nice review. Congratulations!
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Oct 26

Over the past decade, German photographers have been extraordinarily successful. Some of the most prestigious museums had large shows entirely devoted to photographers whose names non-Germans struggle to pronounce. But with just a few notable exceptions (and I have to add much to my own personal frustration), Germans have nicely conformed to the stereotype of being detached, overly organized, and unbelievably hierarchical. There is just one German blog that covers contemporary photography in a way accessible to non-Germans (by offering English text), Peter Feldhaus’ excellent The Sonic Blog. And more established German photographers simply don’t use blogs.
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Oct 25

Mikael Kennedy’s portfolio is a mixed bag, with some pretty nice Polaroids at the end.
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Oct 24

“In the United States chain stores have largely run neighborhood bookshops out of business. Here in Germany, there are big and small bookstores seemingly on every block. The German Book Association counts 4,208 bookstores among its members. It estimates that there are 14,000 German publishers. Last year 94,716 new titles were published in German. In the United States, with a population nearly four times bigger, there were 172,000 titles published in 2005. Germany’s book culture is sustained by an age-old practice requiring all bookstores, including German online booksellers, to sell books at fixed prices. Save for old, used or damaged books, discounting in Germany is illegal. All books must cost the same whether they’re sold over the Internet or at Steinmetz, a shop in Offenbach that opened its doors in Goethe’s day, or at a Hugendubel or a Thalia, the two big chains.” (story)
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Oct 24

Over at Exposure Compensation, Miguel shares some thoughts about portfolio editing.
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Oct 24

Several people told me about this long article by Errol Morris about which of Roger Fenton’s “Valley of The Shadow of Death” photos came first. I have to admit that while I usually don’t mind reading long articles, I didn’t make it through this one (neither did my sources - I’m in good company!). When I read the Susan Sontag quote he starts of with (“Not surprisingly many of the canonical images of early war photography turn out to have been staged, or to have had their subjects tampered with. After reaching the much shelled valley approaching Sebastopol in his horse-drawn darkroom, Fenton made two exposures from the same tripod position: in the first version of the celebrated photo he was to call “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” […], the cannonballs are thick on the ground to the left of the road, but before taking the second picture - the one that is always reproduced - he oversaw the scattering of the cannonballs on the road itself.”) the most important point is contained in the first part: “many of the canonical images of early war photography turn out to have been staged, or to have had their subjects tampered with”. I might be entirely mistaken (as always), but which photo was taken first is of very little - if any! - consequence for the main point here. It’s not like Sontag’s argument completely falls apart if what she thought was the second photo turns out to be the first. I think talking about the consequences of the staging - if we want to call it that - would have been somewhat more interesting (and important) than discussing which photo came first. Update (two articles later): “I suppose he is deadly serious, but I can not help reading Errol Morris’s New York Times investigation into Roger Fenton’s Crimean photographs without wondering if it is all some elaborate parody. A sort of CSI: Photography with laughtrack. […] More than one thousand comments have been left on the saga. […] Morris appears to launch into a journey to catch Sontag out. How could she know which image came first? Thousands of words later we know that Sontag was correct. She was ‘Right’, says Morris, ‘but for the wrong reasons’. Given that she gave her reasons in two sentences rather than several essays, I think she did a fine job.” (story)
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Oct 24

I quite like Tobias Madörin’s vast images of cities and resorts.
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Oct 24

I just found Jem Southam’s book Landscape Stories, and I can’t stop looking through it (the beauty of the images doesn’t come across at all online). I think if asked what I’d consider good and interesting landscape photography, this would be it. BTW, find an interview with Jem Southam here. (updated entry)
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Oct 23

Most people will be familiar with echolocation (even if they have never heard of the term), because they have know how bats manage to fly at night: Bats emit a sound and then use the echo of that sound to navigate. Turns out humans can develop the same technique. Amazing.
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Oct 23

I like Ethan Aaro Jones’ In Water very much.
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Oct 22

“Many major art magazines merely skim the surface of what the internet can offer by using their websites as lacklustre advertisements for the latest issue or as a facility for archived articles. But artforum.com has become a cool little sister to its seminal hard-copy publication, and a worthy force within the international art world with its own voice, heft and value. […] All of the online art magazines offer news, gossip and reviews, but ArtForum is a rare example of a print publication successfully branching out and expanding its offerings online. Don’t you agree that artforum.com ought to be a role model for other art magazines, who can learn from it that there is life beyond the newsstands?” (story)
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Oct 22

There’s a nice New York Times feature in which Simon Norfolk discusses his editorial work for that newspaper.
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Oct 22

A little while ago, Alec Soth got in touch with Doug DuBois to talk about his work. As is sometimes the case with interviews, things took their time. When the piece was finished, past the point where Alec had decided about his blog’s hiatus, he approached me and asked whether I was interested in posting the interview on Conscientious, along with his introduction and the images showcasing Doug’s work. Of course, I was. Find everything below. My thanks to Alec and Doug for sharing! - Jörg Colberg (Alec Soth:) The most influential exhibition during my college years was Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort (MoMA, 1991). The show made domestic life seem like a worthwhile subject for photographers. Especially exciting was that the show introduced me to a bunch of new photographers. Until then I’d never heard of Gregory Crewdson or Philip-Lorca DiCorcia. But the greatest discovery, and the star of the show, was Doug DuBois. More than anyone else, his family pictures lived up to the thrilling title of the show.
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Oct 19

There’s a lot of nice portraiture on Alex Baker’s site.
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Oct 18

There was a thick fog today, and I realized how I haven’t seen much fog since I moved away from where I grew up. The fog reminded me of Marialuisa Morando’s work - it’s one of those examples of how reducing the amount of “stuff” to see changes your perception of what is still visible.
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Oct 18

There’s a nice article entitled “Candida Höfer - Architecture of Absence” available here.
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Oct 18

I’m very excited to see that the show FOTO: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918-1948 has just opened at the Guggenheim.
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Oct 18

You know, when I read stories like this one, I always imagine the problem suddenly reduced to a smaller scale, a scale that humans can proces. Imagine a doctor tells a patient: “I’m afraid I have to tell you that you have lung cancer. But this is a unique business opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry, and don’t worry about giving up smoking, the scientific community is still divided about whether smoking causes cancer.” What would we think of that doctor? And how come we don’t think the same way about people who either deny that global warming exists at all or who merely treat it like an opportunity to make money?
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Oct 17

“I want my images to go more than skin-deep. I want the viewers to feel the vulnerability of their existence and how it relates closely to the sensitivity of the world’s glaciers.” (Spencer Tunick on his latest “installation” for Greenpeace) - Puhleeeeeze!
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Oct 17

I like Brian Shumway’s portraiture.
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Oct 15

A large part of Anne Lass’ photography deals with space and its use.
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Oct 12

For his series Welcome Home Garry Trinh received the Syney Life photo prize.
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Oct 12

Chris Jordan was on The Colbert Report last night, click here to watch the segment (there is a truly annoying commercial before the actual video).
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Oct 11

Noah Kalina is probably most widely known for his self portraits. His website is well worth the visit, to see his other work - which I very much prefer.
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Oct 11

I wish I could write that they had finally awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature to Philip Roth, but again… I don’t think that any other writer has taught me more about American than Philip Roth; and if you’ve never read American Pastoral or The Human Stain or even Sabbath’s Theater (a book that contains too much humour to be truly offensive) you won’t know why I’m disappointed that he was passed over, yet again.
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Oct 10

“A lot of what I learned in [art]school had to be unlearned once I got out into the real world. Most importantly I don’t think I learned enough about myself and my needs as an artist.” - Ofer Wolberger on Art Education
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Oct 10

Richard Renaldi is the latest newcomer to the blog scene - check it out!
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Oct 10

Robert Huber’s portfolio contains quite a few very interesting projects.
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Oct 9

It is interesting to note that while we are led to believe that in photography the digital age is upon us, we are still far from understanding what it actually means. Despite the fact that for almost as long as we can think back photographs have been manipulated to show things not quite the way they were - with the Soviet Union’s erasing of disgraced persons being an especially perfidious example - and despite the fact that every little technical choice - colour versus b/w, saturated versus unsaturated, how to frame and how to crop, etc. - chips away at the idea of the absolute photographic truth, many of us still believe that a photograph shows us things the way they are; and the digital era has now brought the subject matter of photo manipulations into focus.
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Oct 9

“Around 3:30, half an hour before closing time, four vandals wearing black masks stormed into a space known as the Kulturen Gallery while shouting in Swedish, ‘We don’t support this,’ plus an expletive. They pushed visitors aside, entered a darkened room where some of the photographs were displayed and began smashing the glass protecting the photographs and then hacking away at the prints. […] Officials at the local police station said Monday that the vandals had not been caught but that they were believed to be part of a neo-Nazi group.” (story)
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Oct 9

With Johnstown, Ed Panar has created a portrait of his home town.
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Oct 8

“Once upon a time, it was the United States that urged all nations to obey the letter and the spirit of international treaties and protect human rights and liberties. American leaders denounced secret prisons where people were held without charges, tortured and killed. And the people in much of the world, if not their governments, respected the United States for its values. The Bush administration has dishonored that history and squandered that respect. As an article on this newspaper’s front page last week laid out in disturbing detail, President Bush and his aides have not only condoned torture and abuse at secret prisons, but they have conducted a systematic campaign to mislead Congress, the American people and the world about those policies.” (NY Times editorial)
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Oct 8

There is a wonderful post about four self-published books - incl. a brief discussion of self-publishing - over at 5B4.
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Oct 5

About his project Alone at Sea, Grant Ernhart writes: “Alone at Sea is a collection of photographs from my ancestral homeland in Sweden and from Minnesota where I grew up. The images depict not only the specific geographies of these two places, but also my exploration of the landscape as a site for the connections between home, history and personal identity. The images are a record of my response.”
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Oct 5

“Walter Kempowski, who died on October 5th 2007, was a unique figure among German writers. An East German native, he was interned at Bautzen penitentiary in the early years of the GDR before leaving to the West. He is known primarily for his large-scale literary projects “Deutsche Chronik” (German chronicle) - an autobiographical novel in nine volumes - and “Das Echolot” (echo sounding), a ten-volume collective diary of World War Two in collage form.” (interview)
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Oct 5

Unlike many - if not most - other branches of science, astronomy is in the very fortunate position to provide beautiful images almost effortlessly. Point your telescope at almost any position in the sky, and out pops something spectacular. In fact, you can even point your telescope at a spot where seemingly isn’t much going on, and you get one of the most important cosmological images ever made (even though for laypersons, this particular image looks a bit boring). The folks at the Space Telescope Science Institute know this very well, of course, so every week or so, they release some new eye candy. The Hubble Space Telescope gallery is well worth the visit - just check out the Sombrero Galaxy in full resolution. I’d also recommend looking through ESO’s image archives - have a look at, say, the radio galaxy Centaurus A. For those more interested in pretty pictures from the solar system both the Galileo and Cassini-Huygens space mission image galleries hold a plethora of amazing images.
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Oct 4

“Jake and Dinos Chapman […] will spend much of the fair [Frieze art fair at Regent’s Park in London] sitting at the stand of their gallery, White Cube. Hand them any kind of English paper money - […] anything so long as it has the Queen’s head on it - and they will draw on it for you. They’ll give you back the note, now worth many times more than your original outlay, and with the monarch’s visage defaced.” (story)
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Oct 4

Over at muse-ings, I found Jan Banning’s series The Office. Make sure to check through his other projects on his own website!
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Oct 3

I know this is quite silly, but fun nevertheless: Putting fake subtitles under a movie can be a lot of fun. Case in point: Hitler Banned From iSketch! I can only imagine how much fun watching this must be for someone who doesn’t understand German.
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Oct 3

Mårten Lange’s Machina shows machines in different academic research laboratories.
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Oct 3

“Can it really be true that men and women understand language in different ways? Nonsense, says Deborah Cameron in this second extract from her new book - the supposed miscommunication is a myth.”
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Oct 3

Check out the work of Lydia Anne McCarthy!
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Oct 2

When I first read this article by Damien Hirst I thought he must be having quite the laugh (“As an artist, I feel that, in the unlikely event of a tank getting broken beyond repair, then it can be replaced with a brand new tank made to the old specifications; and similarly, if an animal specimen gets damaged beyond repair or lost for whatever reason, it can also be replaced with a new specimen of the same dimensions.”). But then I realized that there really is more to the issue than I thought at first (but DH might still be having a laugh). Interesting.
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Oct 2

“Tony Penrose, son of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, introduces some of his mother’s work and remembers life with her at Farley Farm, Sussex.”
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Oct 2

Over at i heart photograph, I discovered the photography of Joss McKinley. I really like all of his projects.
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Oct 1

There’s a nice feature on Chris Jordan over at Bill Moyers Journal.
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Oct 1

My friend Richard Renaldi went to Burning Man, and he just made his photos from the event available as an ebook.
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