Jade Doskow is a New York-based photographer and professor. She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts and City University of New York, where she teaches architectural and digital photography. She is a photo-blogger for the Huffington Post and has exhibited her work widely. Her work has been featured on WIRED, NPR, and the New Yorker Photo Booth. Her large format photography examines the visual paradox between utopian architecture and its unpredictable current environment.
This week has been full of bad news about the Internet. Living in a culture where we hold All-Access-Passes to events on-line means we have to deal with the good and the bad aspects of the world wide web. And the bad has to do with what some human beings choose to do with that access. I was disgusted when someone hacked into my e-mail last year, and sent everyone in my address book pleas for money, and I am now disgusted by what some very sick individuals are doing for their own gain.
So here is this week’s list of grievances:
I was first contacted by one of my students that a photographer in Italy had taken one of her images, placed it on his website, and was submitting it to competitions…and getting IN! It was a shocking realization what lengths people will go to for recognition.
The second incident was that a friend discovered a Lenscratch blog post that I had written about her work appearing on a Polish blog,”compiled” by Pawel Filas. After further investigation, I discovered hundreds of appropriated posts, used without my permission, still continuing on a daily basis. And I am not the only blogger whose content he is appropriating. For my posts, there is a link to “Aline”, so it appears that I am writing for his site. I am working with other bloggers to get him to cease and desist, though he is not acknowledging our communications. He has friended a number of photographers on Facebook, and all I can say is buyer beware.
I am wondering if today’s post will appear on Mind_Mag too:
Just when I was reeling from the sting of appropriation, a friend alerted me this copy-cat site by someone named Tony Hai who has lifted my entire blog:
I have discussed some of this on Facebook, and through that process, heard many additional tales of appropriated writing and imagery. I am sharing this post so that you will keep an eye on your photographs and writing. We create our work with the best intensions and put so much labor into what we produce. Those who appropriate our work are truly criminal. As a community,hopefully we can work together to create better systems for protection and exposure. And we need to share our stories and expose those who do us harm.
This is a VERY timely article by Joshua Dunlop on “The Daily Mail Stole My Photographs And I Got Paid“. Well worth a read as it contains some excellent suggestions.
As a blogger I get sent several press releases a day for upcoming exhibitions, from the weird to the wonderful and everything in between. Although 95% of it doesn’t hold my interest, once in a while something stands out. The press release for the upcoming exhibition at Gallery 138 in New York of photographs and videos by Clark Winter entitled The Wonder of it All stopped me dead in my tracks.
I knew nothing about Clark Winter, but discovered that he is a global investment advisor, a TV pundit, an art world mover and shaker (he serves on the Committee on Photography at the Museum of Modern Art), as well as a photographer and an “artist”. The release tells us that “in his photographs and videos (…) patterns appear, information is collected, everything is experienced; nothing is explained (…) Something’s coming, and you don’t know what it is.” It would seem that Winter leaves the explaining to his day job and let’s the invisible hand of chance govern his artistic endeavours. From the visuals I got my hands on, his photographs seem to be as random as the above press statement: snapshots taken in hotel lobbies, airports and assorted ‘exotic’ locations. Winter travels a lot and rubs shoulders with the powerful and famous, but is also capable of photographing the totally banal… a toaster, some flowers, a field. All of this is then thrown together in 3×3 grids where the mundane rubs shoulders with the “extraordinary things he has seen while travelling as a global financial advisor” and where the former comes out comfortably on top. In one self-portrait, Winter appears with electrodes attached to his head, suggesting his deep connection to these many complex layers of our planet, or perhaps simply to suggest the powerful brain that lies within it.
Of course I haven’t seen and won’t be able to see The Wonder of it All and this may simply be a case of overblown PR, but to me this feels incredibly misguided. Could there be a worse time to put together an exhibition that reveals “the private world of high finance” by giving us “access to things that are unavailable to ordinary travlers (sic)”? The idea that a man who certainly has a deeper understanding than most of global economics, finance and the powers that be and is clearly very successful in his field, could somehow translate this into a visual form with a series of off-the-cuff photographs, strikes me as a little overambitious, if not downright pretentious.
The exhibition is part of a series exploring the relationship between art and finance, something that is extremely pertinent at this moment in time. There is a lot that is wrong with both worlds and an exploration of how they influence and affect each other could make an interesting exhibition. But surely this is something that requires more than the contents of a powerful man’s iPhone camera roll. I don’t write blogposts that frequently and writing a critique of this exhibition may have been unnecessary, a waste of your and my time. However, I can’t help feeling that in a way this exhibition is insulting to people who are actually devoting themselves to making art. The idea that it is this easy suggests that the relationship between art and finance is a lot more twisted than I thought.
If anyone does actually manage to see The Wonder of it All I would be fascinated to hear your thoughts. However, I am concerned that for someone who cites Picasso and Piero della Francesca as influences, it may be difficult to live up to such lofty expectations.
No related posts.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to miss this fall, it’s Crime Unseen.
The newest exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, which opens to the public on October 28, has already been touted by Art Info’s resident blogger, Tyler Green, in his post “Fall Exhibitions You Won’t Want to Miss.”
By examining the role photography plays in capturing the evidence hidden within a crime scene, the show asks whether seeing truly is believing when it comes to the presentation of dramatic, dark and ultimately disturbing events.
Take a look at the photographs below for a sneak peek of what’s in store!
Christian Patterson, Storm Cellar, 2008
Richard Barnes, Unabomber Exhibit A, 1999; Courtesy Clark Gallery
Angela Strassheim, Evidence No. 2 (BlueStar), 2009; Courtesy of the artist
Please visit us at the Aperture Booth during ArtHamptons this summer, where we will have selections from our books and limited-edition photographs on display.
Now in its 4th successful year, ArtHamptons has emerged as the nation’s premier summer fine art fair for post-war and contemporary art. Last year, over 8,000 art enthusiasts, a show record, streamed through aisles. This summer, the fair has the full promotional support of and is partnering with many of the area’s leading cultural organizations such as the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall, Longhouse Reserve, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Bay Street Theater, the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Children’s Museum of the East End, the Ross School, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons and the Southampton Fresh Air Fund. Over 10,000 art lovers are expected to attend.
International in scope, the fair will showcase renowned art dealers from more than 10 countries, including the UK (10 dealers), Spain, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Japan, China and Korea. Our Selection Committee has endeavored to select only those galleries with compelling art programs, excellent reputations and those that exhibit the utmost in integrity.
For the first time in ArtHamptons’ four year history, they are showcasing significant fine art photography in 2011. The fair features a roster of important photography dealers offering the very best work on the market today. Photohamptons will also offer a guided tour on both Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm, of photoHamptons dealers and their works throughout the fair. Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who runs the eponymous photography consulting firm, and respected blogger of Art Most Fierce, will present an entertaining fair tour entitled “How to Invest and Collect Fine Art Photography.” Geared for both novice and experienced collectors, the tour will provide valuable insights and tips on building your fine art photography collection.
Friday, July 8, 2011–Sunday, July 10, 2011
Bridgehampton, New York
Thursday, July 7, 6 – 9pm | Opening Preview Party | Benefiting Longhouse Reserve
Friday, July 8, 11am – 7pm | Benefiting Guild Hall
Saturday, July 9, 11am – 7pm | Benefiting Bridgehampton Historical Society
Sunday, July 10, 11am – 6pm | Benefiting the Parrish Art Museum
Suns From Flickr, Penelope Umbrico
I’ve just written a piece for the magazine European Photography in which I touch on the lack of substantial online discussion on current trends in photography and where things are going. I’ll be posting the piece on eyecurious soon, so I won’t go into detail here, but in general my feeling is that although online activity on photography is growing by the day, it is becoming commensurately shallower as a result. Fortunately there are examples which buck the trend. Foam, the Amsterdam photo-museum, has recently added What’s Next? to its expanding range of content. What’s Next? is a supplement to Foam’s quarterly magazine but also an online discussion forum which is designed to spark discussion on current trends and how they are affecting the development of photography. The museum recently organised an expert meeting in Amsterdam around the What’s Next project with an impressive line-up including Charlotte Cotton, Fred Ritchin, Thomas Ruff, Joachim Schmid and many others (you can see a number of the presentations from the meeting on Foam’s youtube channel). Although the design of the site messes with my eyes and head a little bit, there is some terrific content on here running from photobooks to photojournalism. As a blogger I find that the most satisfying experiences writing online are those which spark a discussion, debate or even an argument. If you are interested in any of the above, I highly recommend a visit to What’s Next?
As the year draws to an end and more top–10 lists (and non-lists) than you can wave a stick at make their annual appearance, I thought I would take a broader look back at the past year in photography. This time last year I focused on the chronic over-use of the word curating, a trend which shows no signs of abating. As for 2010, the major development in the world of photography has to be the exponential rise of the self-published and independent photobook.
This year has seen the launch of Alec Soth’s Little Brown Mushroom (LBM actually launched in December 2009, Soth once again proving that he is ahead of the curve), the online listings database The Independent Photobook, the Indie Photobook Library, the Off Print photobook festival in Paris, a big online discussion on the future of photobooks and (perhaps another sign of Soth’s prescience) the growth of countless independent publishers like so many little brown mushrooms. This frenzy of activity wasn’t only limited to the periphery either: the (deserving) winner of this year’s book prize at the Rencontres d’Arles was an independent publisher from Berlin, Only Photography, for Yutaka Takanashi: Photography 1965-74. If there were any doubts remaining as to the importance of this trend in 2010, while writing this paragraph I received an email from yet another freshly-launched website devoted to the self- and independently-published photobook. I think this explosion in ‘indie’ publishing is a great thing, particularly given what was being said about the future of photobook publishing a couple of years ago. However, although we have learned that publishing it yourself can make you happy, it can also make you very confused, even overwhelmed. It is truly amazing how many photobooks are being made now, far too many for one poor blogger to even begin to get his head around and (surely?) far too many to sell to a very limited pool of buyers. The problem is that only a very small percentage of them are any good. By good I don’t mean “containing good photography” but rather good as a stand-alone artwork where the design and production matches, or even enhances the content rather than a brochure for a series of photographs. Not every series of photographs deserves (or is suited) to becoming a book. Hopefully the publishing effervescence of 2010 will give way to a ‘more quality less quantity’ scenario in 2011.
Another phenomenon that has accompanied this rise in self- or indie publishing is the rise in luxury, super exclusive, VIP, signed, numbered and sealed-with-a-kiss editions. Despite the rise in the number of photobooks being published, only an infinitesimal number of these make any money and publishers are still searching for the winning formula. Rather than the ‘limited’ print runs of the past (700 to 1,000) it seems that a number of publishers are moving towards deluxe extra-limited editions (100 to 500). To mention just a few examples Germany’s Only Photography and White Press are both producing books which will generally set you back at least 80 euros ($100), and in the US Nazraeli Press has completed ten years of its One Picture Book series where (for $150) you get a small original print thrown in with the eight or nine plates in the book itself. One final publishing trend worth noting is the growing number of re-editions of classic photobooks. In addition to Errata Editions‘ full series of books on books, this year we were treated to a range of re-editions from Takuma Nakahira’s A Language To Come to John Gossage’s The Pond. Given how much the originals are sell for at auction these days, I’m grateful to be able to get my hands on some classics without having to sell all the other books I own in the process.
And what of photography itself in 2010? Looking beyond the book, this year feels far less exciting. As with the rest of the art world, photography galleries are still gently and nervously probing the market with little space given to new or ‘difficult’ work, while museums are staying well away from anything risky with big-name blockbuster retrospectives, shows assembled from their own collections (which is not necessarily a bad thing), or shows lasting from 4-5 months instead of 2 or 3. Just as with books we’re also seeing the reedition of landmark exhibitions, with the New Topographics show touring the US this year. In terms of museum shows a special mention has to go to two examples of ludicrous censorship: the recent removal of a video by the artist David Wojnarowicz from the exhibition “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture“ at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington after the Catholic League and members of Congress complained that the piece was sacrilegious due to a sequence showing ants crawling on a crucifix, and the Paris Museum of Modern Art’s Larry Clark exhibition which got itself an X-rating from the government and therefore a shed-load of media attention.
On a positive note, a more interesting trend has been the use of Google Street View by several artists as a new photographic tool. Michael Wolf (see the grid below), Doug Rickard and Jon Rafman have produced exhibitions, books and tumblrs of images taken from Google Street View’s online tool. This is clearly not everyone‘s cup of tea and, particularly in street photography circles, there tends to be a “that is not photography” response to this kind of work. Whether you like it or not, it raises a number of interesting and important questions about the way the practice of photography and the hypocritical rules governing it are evolving .
Another technology-related trend has to be the massive growth of online social networking in the photo community. Of course this is a phenomenon that is by no means limited to photography, but it is astounding how quickly Facebook has gone from an interactive high-school yearbook to a major marketing tool (alongside its younger cousin Twitter). Some have even used it as a tool through which to publish a series of photographs steadily over time. I’m not sure how this is going to affect photography (if at all) and others have thought about this harder than I have, but it will be interesting to see where this goes in 2011.
Finally, I get the feeling that there is a bit of a reemergence of street photography going on. With in-public’s 10 (review here) and Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren’s Street Photography Now. This may be because we’re all photographers now and the most obvious place to start is the street, or perhaps because people are growing tired of the cold, detached formalism that has dominated recent contemporary photography, or maybe even the fact that the abuse of anti-terrorism and privacy laws is making it more and more difficult to photograph in many of our cities and that street photographer’s tend to like a challenge.
- The opening of LE BAL in Paris and its first exhibition Anonymes
- Discovering Leo Rubinfein’s A Map of the East at the Comptoir de l’Image
- The outdoor installation of Michael Wolf’s Paris Street View work in Amsterdam
- Meeting the wonderful Mao Ishikawa at Paris Photo
- Erik van der Weijde and Harvey Benge‘s relentless (and extremely good) book-making
- Completing my first 3-day portfolio review marathon at FotoFest Paris
- Foam magazine‘s excellent new (and free!) ‘What’s Next’ supplement which takes a look at the future of photography through some very interesting pairs of eyes
Photographer, curator and blogger Aline Smithson, shares some great tips for photographers aiming to submit work to photo contests:
I have had the wonderful opportunity to juror and curate a number of exhibitions and magazine galleries and as someone who lives on both sides of the fence, I thought I would share some insights and lessons learned. (continue to read at fstop magazine).
This is perhaps my favorite tip:
12. Learn how to write about your work. As a blogger and curator, I need some insight into your work, so I can write about it. Photographers often feel that the images should speak for themselves. Honestly, some do and some don””t. Even a few sentences are a big help.
I concur, and even more, I would say learn to speak (not only write) about your work, describe your purpose and intent with the photograph. Learn to convey with words what the photograph means aesthetically and emotionally to you. It is still amazing to me how often photographers assume that the viewer, just by looking at a photograph, should understand the message that the photographer wants to convey. Sometimes words are not needed, indeed, but most times words enhance the visual perception and enjoyment of the work.