…deer with festive umbrella.
A part of me does not want this blog. I have several reasons. Like most artists I have a fear of writing. So it seems easier to repost an article that I find interesting or an article that marks importance in the subject of photography and visual arts. Here you will also find links to all my feeds: twitter, flikr, my facebook page, and reposts from my instagram feed via twitter–anything that gets me out of actually writing.
I recently took headshots of a friend, a writer, who wrote about his experience of being photographed and he suggested I update my blog. Let’s be real I hadn’t had any updates since last year. It’s no wonder i don’t have a following. But what I am going to write about? I’m not an expert. At best, and like most people with blogs I am a ‘Noble Amateur’. Noble Amateur? A term I picked up from reading The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen. His book, as he puts it, “[is]…a polemic about the destructive impact of the digital revolution on our culture, economy, and values.” I have only read the intro and chapter one, and I am dismayed by this new information; I am still processing. I was telling a few co-workers what i have already learned from Keen and as one co-worker stated “Stop, you are scaring me!”
From big businesses, big media, public relations and lobbying firms to political groups from the left and the right they are turning to the democratized Web 2.o to use new tactics in advertising by creating fictional characters to make an impression, to sway, even hypnotize us with ‘spook advertisements’ and fabricated blogs as a secondary PR platform that compromise the truth and compromise our trust. In other words, it is a quick way to spew out uhem-cough-cough bullshit. And forget it if it goes viral, once that happens the damage may already be done. On Web 2.0 there’s no fact checking, no expert opinion; it’s ‘user-generated content,’ we are collaborators. We are not passively viewing content, we are the authors creating content. We are the AUTHORITY! True Blood anyone?
I’m torn. I have a foot in it because I have to and I have a foot ready to run.
For now I will have to remain complicit and a contributor to the digital noise. I do although have a goal. My goal is to write, write with honesty, and by doing so my writing will improve. While I am complicit, I want to contribute my thought processes and reflections on readings that may speak to the world we live in, and how that may affect the new body of work I am creating. I want to share my fears as an artist: the anxiety of writing and putting myself out there redundantly using social media. I cannot even begin to tell you the time I feel I am wasting by selflessly promoting my work. I do it with hesitation because I DO NOT want this blog. I now have become one of the 100M bloggers simultaneously talking about ourselves. All of this anxiety and build up will have an outcome: a new body of work and a well written artist statement. Here’s a link a sneak peak to my new work I will present at POST–Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Just a few works in progress. Just remember I am not an expert, I am a Noble Amateur.
By all means please share, repost, respond, and like this.
- 1. The muteness of a photograph matters as much as its ability to speak.
- 2. The juxtaposition of photographs matters as much as the muteness of each.
- 3. All photography flattens. Objectification is inescapable.
- 4. Photography cannot secure the integrity of its subject any more than it can satisfy the need to touch or taste.
- 5. Good ideas are easily bungled.
- 6. Banal ideas can be rescued by personal investment and beautiful execution.
- 7. Lacking an appealing surface, a photograph should depict surfaces appealingly.
- 8. A photograph that refuses to market anything but its own complexities is perverse. Perversion is bliss.
- 9. A backlit object is a pregnant object.
- 10. To disregard symbols is to disregard a part of human perception.
- 11. Photography may employ tools and characteristics of reportage without being reportage.
- 12. The only photojournalistic images that remain interesting are the ones that produce or evoke myths.
- 13. A photographer in doubt will get better results than a photographer caught up in the freedom of irony.
- 14. The aestheticizing eye is a distant eye. The melancholic eye is a distant eye. The ironic eye is a distant eye.
- 15. One challenge in photography is to outdistance distance. Immersion is key.
- 16. Irony may be applied in homeopathic doses.
- 17. A lyrical photograph should be aware of its absurdity. Lyricism grows from awareness.
- 18. For the photographer, everyone and everything is a model, including the photograph itself.
- 19. The photography characterized by these sentences is informed by conceptual art.
- 20. The photography characterized by these sentences is not conceptual photography.
The Function of the Studio (when the studio is a laptop) by Caitlin Jones
Petra Cortright, vvebcam (still), 2007;
high-definition digital video; 1 minute 41 seconds; ed. of 3 + AP; courtesy the artist
Brooding, solitary and usually male, the trope of “the artist in the studio” has existed in multiple iterations throughout the history of art. From Rembrandt’s workshop to the twentieth-century Parisian studios of Picasso, Braque and others, to Warhol’s Factory, the studio contains within it an evolving narrative, albeit one that remains focused on a specific physical site of artistic production. In a particularly damning critique of this romantic construct, Daniel Buren posited in a 1971 essay, “The Function of the Studio,” that the studio has a “simultaneously idealizing and ossifying function,”1 a state of “purgatory” that grants artists limited agency in the production and dissemination of their own work and culture at large. Buren’s essay is a concise example of the postmodern conception of “post-studio” practice—a practice cultivated by the likes of Robert Smithson, who came to reject the confines of the physical studio as a site of production in favor of the unconfined natural landscape, or by John Baldessari’s infamous “Post-Studio Art” class at CalArts, in which students were encouraged to “stop daubing away at canvases or chipping away at stone”2 and embrace a wider framework for art production. The influence of these artists is clearly evident in a range of contemporary artistic practices that continue to question traditional modes of production and dissemination.
The legacy of “post-studio” art is amplified for artists working with digital forms and online environments. Generally these types of practices are less an overt negation of the “ossifying” element of the studio and more a reflection of how the digital has changed cultural production at large. What happens when the studio in question is simply a laptop in the artist’s kitchen or the local coffee shop? When the studio exists in a network space and is linked to countless other studios, shifting the studio experience from ossifying to dynamic? Or when the site of the studio is the same as that of exhibition and distribution?
Photogenies magazine questionnaire
Does photography teach you something about cinema? Or vice versa?
Photography never ceases to instruct me when making films. And cinema reminds me at every instant that it films motion for nothing, since every image becomes a memory, and all memories congeal and set.
In all photography there’s the suspension of movement, which in the end is the refusal of movement. There motion is vain.
In all film there’s the desire to capture the motion of life, to refuse immobility.
But in film the still image is in vain, like the foreboding of a car breakdown, like watching out for death.
-Agnès Varda, “On Photography and Cinema//1984,” The Cinematic: Documents of Contemporary Art, Edited by David Campany.