Archives for the month of: June, 2008


I could write a long dissertation on this subject but as it is summer I am going to keep it light & let the images speak for themselves. One group of images is a blog project about making words out of stuff for fun, the other is a project by Tim Davis. While the two sets of images share certain characteristics, namely a sense of whimsy, their intent and comment on the world we live in are quite different. Isn’t that why art is fun?

After the satanic ritual

Rainbow Bread

Yippee

Toys

An interview went up today on the Girl Project blog, discussing my work. It was an honor to share my personal motivations with their audience. If you have a moment, check out the site. I am very excited to be a part of the Girl Project, a very positive and cool online initiative that works to empower and encourage teenage girls to express themselves using a camera. Even if you are not a teenage girl, their work is interesting and inspiring. Photography as a medium can have many functions, and it makes an excellent vehicle for young people to find their voice.

So many exciting and great things are happening for my work right now, more to come soon… But thank you all for your support and for staying with me through this process. As for WIP, it’s success continues, we have lots of really fabulous things planned in the months ahead.

What Is The Girl Project?

The Girl Project explores the lives of American teenage girls by putting them behind the camera to document themselves. Using disposable cameras, girls 13-18 photograph their lives as only they know and understand it.

image from the girl project

GET YOUR PICS ON THIS BLOG!

There are two ways to share your photos. First, you have to become a participant in The Girl Project. E-mail me and I’ll send you a disposable camera. Once you return it to me, all the photos on the camera will be considered for a blog posting (and The Girl Project website and future book). Second, (only after returning your TGP camera) you can submit new work that you would like to share. E-mail me a low resolution version of your photo (72dpi, 5x7in) and it will be considered for the blog. If it is selected I’ll post it and write about it… and ask you to write about too.

I had the pleasure of being part of a photo geekfest this weekend, and one of the names that came up (with me & Justin James Reed) was Lewis Baltz. For some reason I feel like he does not get a lot of attention in the US, especially his color work of the late 80’s and early 90’s. I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Tate Modern several years ago, but when I google image search him, I come up mostly empty handed for that work. It is very strange how some artists have almost no internet presence, or a limited selection of images online. These days I find it odd. What is someone really going to do with a 5×6 inch 72 dpi web image? The Steidl website has such a small rendition of the book, you have no clue what you are even looking at. I did find a slideshow at an Italian gallery but not the best way to see the work. His new book, Sites of Technology, is going on my ‘to buy’ list when it comes out in July. One of the core reasons we started Women in Photography was to provide a great research site, so photographers could find work of artists online easily, in one place, with links to more info.

There are definite links between my work and Baltz’s. His vision of the post-technological age, specifically the relationship between man and technology was extremely precisest. If you look at the images and think of how important computers have become in the 15 or so years since the images were made, it is startling

I highly recommend you take a look .

I love all of these quotes by the artist himself:

The questioning of the photograph in its relation to reality, the interrogation of representation, the famous crisis of representation, really took place before digital technology. Digital technology is not the villain here, it simply offers another dimension.
Lewis Baltz

Jean Nouvel is interested in a building that would respond to change in temperature, in time, in use. He’s always been fascinated by the idea of integrating architectural space with image space, signage. Jean proposed making columns of images, and then we began talking about what kind of images these would be, how these columns would be structured, whether they would be autonomously illuminated, or whether they would respond the light in the building, what kind of subjects would be interesting to introduce in this particular building. It is not a question of putting my work into Nouvel’s building but a question of using that building and the activities in that building as a way of generating a dialogue of images.
Lewis Baltz

I assume that once something goes on the Internet, it belongs to everybody.
Lewis Baltz

I never had any profound loyalty to the idea of photography as a medium but simply as the most efficient way of making or recording an image.
Lewis Baltz

I think it’s interesting that the questioning of the photograph in its relation to the reality, the interrogation of representation, the famous crisis of representation, really all took place before digital technology. Digital technology … is not the villain here. It simply offers another dimension. I’m not sure if it’s a farther remove from reality than analogue. I think if we can speak of reality, if reality and representation can be spoken of in the same sentence, if reality even exists any more, digital is simply another way of encoding that reality.
Lewis Baltz

Photography is less material than painting; digital is less material. But the dematerialisation of art again is something that began thirty years ago as a conceptual gesture and long before people realised that it was not only a possibility but would in fact become the dominant technology.
Lewis Baltz

Almost everything now has that possibility, maybe even the necessity, of some kind of digital interface or intervention. So in that sense, the sense that it proliferates, that it’s everywhere in society, I think that will yet further detach people from whatever 19th century idea they had about reality, the phenomenal world and their relation to it and in it.
Lewis Baltz

Cinema structured time in a very different way than any other medium had ever devised before. With video you have a double structure. You have that structuring of time in cinema but also you have this possibility of zapping , that is, the director of the film is not absolutely the final determiner of the order or the speed in which you see the images. … That’s a different kind of time; that’s a different kind of intervention. It’s an intervention done by a user, in their real time.
Lewis Baltz

The digital technology may make it possible, at least theoretically possible, for everyone to be everywhere all the time. This really runs in a way counter to the post-modernism dictum of the disappearance of the subject. You could say it becomes the multiplicity of the subject. The subject is no longer one. The subject is two or four or many or billions.
Lewis Baltz

To work in a way integrated with architecture, I think the work we’re speaking about here is not a question of putting my work in his building but a question of using that building and the activities in that building as a way of generating a dialogue in images. The work is not even site-specific, it’s really site-generated. It’s something that’s made exclusively for that space and that space with its present series of functions. In that sense it becomes like most works today ephemeral.
Lewis Baltz

[The] question of [the] medium is something that seems to be kind of mercifully disappearing now. I don’t think anyone really identifies themselves by the medium, except maybe painters — who will hate me for saying that.
Lewis Baltz

It seems like there’s another generation that’s arising; that it’s almost become a genetic change. There children all over the world who seem to have some innate ability to deal with information on the screen, to manipulate digital symbols, to feel comfortable with this as though they had drunk it in with their mother’s milk. It is almost their second nature. And perhaps a new kind of human being is evolving in front of us and we’re not sure how to name it yet.
Lewis Baltz

What I found that was younger artists no one is going to be media-defined. They simply take for granted that all these mediums such as computer, video, photography, film are available and have their particular qualities. They move very gracefully from one to another. So I think that question of medium is something that seems to be kind of mercifully disappearing.
Lewis Baltz

Thanks to GG reader, bloomlikeflowers, who knew that putting wigs on your pets and taking formal portraits was a trend. I bet shot large format and blown up to 30×40 these things would fly out of a gallery. You have a built in market, all of the ‘wigs on pets’ people would buy them. Enjoy your weekend. Check out more at Kitty Wigs.

I feel like my blog is always so serious! So I found this image on a site which had a pingback to GG and I have no idea why but it has made me smile all day, so I hope you enjoy it as well. I mean where do you even get a wig that size?

Andy Adams (Flak) sent me a lovely email about his new feature, the work of this year’s Santa Fe portfolio review attendees. As I was not selected I felt a little bitter about the whole thing. So I told Andy, I was really not in to posting about it. But today I came across Sarah Sudhoff’s lovely post about her experience and reconsidered. We are all striving for the same things, and we all put the same amount of energy, time, love and sacrifice into photography. Sarah’s work also deals with a very real issue, and I imagine galleries say similar things to her about the difficulty of selling work and that maybe it does not match the sofa so to speak. But her images are startlingly beautiful, despite the very painful and emotional subject matter of cancer. A word people do everything in their power to avoid.

It struck me that there is something inherently strange about the built in valuation process of making art. Every day I wake up and face this process. I have to constantly subject my work to the judgment of others. But by making it, I have no other choice. Sometimes, it can be soul crushing and you see the good fortune of others and feel pretty bad for a moment. Reading Sarah’s post, I knew exactly how great she must have felt getting feedback and meeting the people who have the power to make her career happen. Getting that validation is almost like a drug . And when it’s taken away or withheld, it is brutal. So I guess the only solution is to let yourself feel horrible for a bit and then pick yourself up and move on. Because in reality we all go through it, even after we get a book deal or a show and move up the art world food chain. Without some sort of inner coping mechanism, you will be destroyed. It took me a very long time, but I really believe in my work. And in reality there are a ton of great things happening for me in my career. Sometimes I am shocked to see how far I have come in the year since I finished school. And I feel so grateful for all the wonderful support and feedback I have received.

A few night’s ago the lovely and very talented Corinne May Botz’s invited me to present my work to her portrait class at Cooper Union. I had to fill an hour and was a little nervous beforehand. But it was one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences so far of my career. The students completely understood my work, and saw things I had not even considered. Watching the project come alive and affect people like that is why I have sacrificed so much and work so hard. So as my boyfriend is always telling me two steps forward one step back, means you are still moving a head.

www.wipnyc.org

Me & the lovely and talented Amy Elkins

Last night was a resounding success, so many people came out to support us. Despite the heat everyone seemed to have a great time. And thanks to Giano, for being so generous, and to Casey Kelbaugh, for taking pics the whole night.

And I am very flattered by recent posts of 1000 Words & the Boston Photography Focus.

Thanks to them both for writing such lovely and complimentary things about my work & GG.

Tonight. 6-8pm @ Giano 126 E 7th St between Ave A & 1st Ave. 1/2 priced Peroni’s, etc. from 6-7. Come meet the women behind WIPNYC and some of our upcoming artists. And stay for dinner after, the food is great.

Giano

I received an email this week, asking if we planned to have WIPNYC be a resource for photo editors. We of course hope to become that, and resource is the word that best represents what Amy & I are trying to do. Whether for galleries, PE’s, Art Buyers, or other artists, we want to create an archive where you can go to find female artists and to get a feel for what contemporary photographers are doing. There are some really exciting things happening online right now, which are opening up the fine-art photo world.

The internet is vast & there is a lot to choose from, so I wanted to put together a list for myself, that includes both internet and other sources. I am sure most of you know these places, but sometimes it is nice to have things put together all in one place. The list includes, general info sites, cool photographer’s projects, online photo magazines, blogs, book stores, galleries, open submissions, and some other photo related info.

Young Photographers Untied. An online consortium designed to help emerging photographers. They have artists from all over the world and help with career development.

ASMP. A great resource for legal and financial aspects of commercial photography. They have sample model releases, invoices etc. If you join they also have insurance.

Editotial Photo. Resources about the world of editorial photography.

Fractured Atlas. An online artists association, with has good rates on insurance and info for artists.

PDN Online. Contests, info about other photographers, a resource section and online portfolios.

Aperture. The site is a great resource for some of the best books and photography out there. The foundation also hosts great talks, and exhibits. They have a great bookstore for browsing and thinking photo. And the magazine is a great subscription to have.

Blind Spot. The artists A-Z sections has work from almost every important artist. The magazine is sort of the holy grail of fine-art photography, although their program of late is not to my taste, its still a force.

Cabinet. The most fun and unexpected of the art mags. The website is not so much photo related, but inspiring none the less.

Portfolio. Great photo mag, but only publishes UK based artists.

Foam. A new discovery for me, but wow what a magazine. I am dying to be in this one, and so should you. Each magazine is a work of art!

Saatchi Gallery Online. To be honest I still can’t figure out how it works but there seem to be lots of opportunities coming out of it so its worth pursuing.

Re-title. Really cool online portfolio site, great opportunities listings and reasonably priced. Also good place to find galleries outside your home town.

The Design Trust for Public Space. A very cool organization with a good photo grant.

LMCC. Lots of events and opportunities as well as grants. If you are NYC based you should know about them.

ArtCal. Keep up with the NY art scene

Gomma Magazine. A great list of exhibits happening all over the world and a nice photo mag.

Glowlab. Brooklyn based support for emerging artists. Festivals, events and info.

Humble Arts. Where to begin. If you have not submitted, do. Jon Feinstein has a great eye and they are committed to emerging fine-art photography.

Piece of Cake. Collective of European art photographers.

Photo Debut. Young photographer collective of mostly UK based artists. Run Aaron Shulman, editor of Seesaw.

Seesaw. Really well produced online mag, open submissions.

1000 Words Magazine. A great new online magazine, they are not kidding around, first issue feature, Candida Hofer, Olaf Otto Becker & Martin Parr to name a few. The site also has a blog.

Blue Eyes magazine. Online photo mag.

Making Room. Good online mag, with a blog and lots of news and photographer info.

Lens Culture. Also has an open submission policy and shows a wide variety of work.

Purpose. Really nicely produced and a great place to see what French photographers are up to.

PRC. Photographic Resource Center at Boston University. If you live in New England they are your place to go. They also have great online database for photo history, and just launched a new Blog.

Photo Shelter Blog. Highlights photographers works & events.

Flak Photo. A curated online venue for single photographs as well as news & photo events. Also open submissions.

Mrs Deane. A truly unique & intelligent blog. I always find something new there.

State of The Art. American Photo’s blog, they have very informative posts.

Conscientious. King Joerg. Need I say more.

ICP. They have a really great library, classes and digital lab. The museum is really hit or miss, but an important photo institution.

The Center Santa Fe. Based on this years portfolio review selections I have lost a little faith, but still a valuable photo resource.

Fifty Crows. If you are a documentary photography this is the site.

Lightwork. Great residency program and magazine.

Houston Center for Photography, They also have a nice magazine, Spot.

Photography-Now. Great resource for shows, researching artists and festivals.

Foto 8. Wide variety of info.

Wanderlustagraphy. Online collective curated by the lovely Amy Elkins. It has a really interesting mix of work & open submissions.

APE, Heather Morton, A Visual Society & the Jackanory. 4 unique voices in the blog world, which focus on commercial (some fine art) photography.

The Girl Project. A great project which encourages young women to use photography is very interesting ways.

Remain in the Light, We Cant Paint & Pause to Begin. New blog based curatorial projects and books.

The Strand. The 12th street store is where I received my photo education. Sometimes I go to the photo book section when I am depressed and lose myself in the work of the greats. Also look out for talks, some of the best in the world stop by & give books talks.

The New York Times Magazine. I may look online but I never miss an issue. Kathy Ryan if your reading this, I want you to adopt me:)

Magnum. Just to browse the archives it a treat and they have a nice blog.

MOMA. A must destination to periodically be inspired or disappointed by some of their current shows.

LACMA. With Charlotte Cotton at the helm, a very interesting photo program, including events & artists talks.They also host an very heady blog, Words Without Pictures.

Large Format Photography. Great technical info for us 4×5 & larger shooters.

PhotoNet. While this site can get a little crazy, if you have a tech question, chances are its already been answered there, & answered & answered.

Adorama and B&H. Best places to shop for all things photo.

K&M. The Saturday shop.

Badger Graphics. Best place for LF equipment online.

Midwest Photo Exchange & KEH Camera. Good used selection.

Motherland. Simon Roberts very cool website of his photo book.

Fazal Sheikh. Beautiful work, site and has his books online.

Steidl. By far the best photo publisher website. And yes there books are pretty nice too.

Scalo. Publishing, galleries & more.

PhotoEye. Magazine, Publishing online exhibits.

PhotoLucida. Contests & portfolio reviews.

Powerhouse. Taking over the photo world as we speak.

D.A.P. Good general art & photo books research.

Slideluck Potshow. If you want a good excuse to go somewhere, submit your work. Then you have an excuse for vacation.

Beth Schiffer & Print Space. Scan & Print digital-c’s by the hour in the NYC area. Everyone goes to one of them if they do the work themselves.

LTI, A Small Darkroom, Killer Image Labs, Laumont, Box Studios. Best NYC labs & digital retouching. Be prepared to spend $$$.

Adorama, Lens & Repro, Fotocare. Rentals. I am a L&R girl, they very knowledgeable and have the best LF equipment.

Alas, there is tons more out there to discover, but these things are all worth a look.

I rarely go anywhere near politics as a rule, but I am came across this today and it expressed exactly how I have felt about the Clinton campaign. Even if you don’t like her, you have to admit there have been terrible things said. Some of them are funny, but many of them are totally unacceptable. Whatever you think about gender issues in America this is something to consider. Especially in light of Rush Limbaugh now infamous, “Is America ready to watch a women grow old in the White House” comment. I guess women are not allowed to grow old, or get fat, or lose are looks at all.

But let’s be honest, John McCain has way more Botox going on than Hillary.

Is it a coincidence that the bubbling idiocy of “Sex and the City,” the movie, exploded upon the cultural scene at the exact same time that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy imploded?

Literally, of course, it is. Figuratively, I’m not so sure.

And before I set off an avalanche of e-mails explaining why Hillary deserved to lose, I want to make one point clear: I am talking here not about the outcome of her candidacy – mistakes were made, and she faced a formidable opponent in Barack Obama – but rather about the climate in which her campaign was conducted. The zeitgeist in which Hillary floundered and “Sex” is now flourishing.

It’s a cultural moment that Andrew Stephen, writing with an outsider’s eye for the British magazine the New Statesman last month, characterized as a time of “gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind.” A moment in which things like the formation of a Hillary-bashing political action group, “Citizens United Not Timid,” a “South Park” episode featuring a nuclear weapon hidden in Clinton’s vagina, and Internet sales of a Hillary Clinton nutcracker with shark-like teeth between her legs, passed largely without mainstream media notice, largely, perhaps, because some of the key gatekeepers of mainstream opinion were so busy coming up with various iterations of the nutcracker theme themselves. (Tucker Carlson on Hillary: “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.” For a good cry, watch this incredible montage from the Women’s Media Center.)

Stephen is not the first commentator to note that if similarly hateful racial remarks had been made about Obama, our nation would have turned itself inside out in a paroxysm of soul-searching and shame. Had mainstream commentators in 2000 speculated, say, that Joe Lieberman had a nose for dough, or made funny Shylock references, heads would have rolled – and rightfully so.

But 16 months of sustained misogyny? Hey — she asked for it. With that voice, (“When Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear, ‘Take out the garbage’ ” Fox News regular Marc Rudov, author of “Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze, or Jumper Cables,” said in January). With that ambition, and that dogged determination (“like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court,” according to MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle) and, of course, that husband (Chris Matthews: “The reason she’s a U.S. Senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around.”). Clearly, in an age when the dangers and indignities of Driving While Black are well-acknowledged, and properly condemned, Striving While Female – if it goes too far and looks too real — is still held to be a crime.

In a culture that’s reached such a level of ostensible enlightenment as ours, calling a powerful woman “castrating” – however you choose to put it – ought to be seen as just as offensive as rubbing your fingers together to convey a love of gold coinage when you talk about a Jew. It’s nothing other than an expression of woman-hate — and the degree to which such expressions have flourished, in the mainstream media and in the loonier reaches of cyberspace this year, has added up to be a real national shame.

Which brings me back to “Sex and the City.”

How antithetical Hillary’s earnest, electric blue pants-suited whole being is to the frothy cheer of that film, which has women now turning out in droves, a song in their hearts, unified in popcorn-clutching sisterhood to a degree I haven’t seen since the ugly, angry days of Anita Hill and … the first incarnation of Hillary Clinton. How times have changed. How yucky, how baby boomerish, how frowningly pre-Botox were the early 1990s. How brilliantly does “Sex” – however atrocious it may be – surf our current zeitgeist, sugar-coating it all in Blahniks and Westwood, and yummy men and yummier real estate, and squeakingly desperate girl cheer.

Take Miranda: a working mother archetype for an anti-woman age. She’s so callous now that she won’t let her nanny eat a decent meal, and so defiantly sexless that she’s let her pubic hair grow in. Take Charlotte: the Good Mommy, with an angel’s face and no employment, a seemingly limitless credit line and an adoring troglodyte of a husband (so short, so bald, and yet so good with the gelt). And then – please – take Samantha. At 50, she’s the one girlfriend aged enough to bear the baggage of old-time, Clinton-era feminist sentiment. She’s a self-centered heart-breaker, a real man-eater — you should see how she rejects a drooping roll of sushi — her corruption made manifest by the fact that, at film’s end, she develops (gasp!) a gut.

Yes, a gut, girls, like yours and mine and that of virtually any real woman who’s over 35, or has had children, or has something more important to do than full-time Pilates.

“Sex and the City” is the perfect movie for our allegedly ever-so-promising post-feminist era, when “angry” is out and Restalyne is in, and virtually all our country’s most powerful women look younger now than they did 20 years ago.

Oh, lighten up, I can hear you say. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

Earnestness is so unattractive (in a woman).

The launch of Women in Photography has turned out to be quite a bit more labor intensive than Amy or I expected. It is pretty amazing to think a month ago we were just starting another blog and now we have a full-fledged website. Neither one of us are getting any income out of this, so it is getting a bit challenging to devote the 2 to 4 hours (sometimes more!) a day that is needed to make this site come together. Without Amani Olu, we would not be able to do any of this. His design help and insight has been lifesaving. Humble Arts is a great organization, so we are happy to be affiliated with them.

What has really come out of this for me, is how much work & risk goes into creation. There can be nothing great accomplished without an enormous commitment of time and effort. I know how much I have put into my own work, and yet I feel there is so much more I should and can do, if only I had more time and money. But I have accomplished so much since I left school last July, sometimes I can’t believe it. But I have also worked tirelessly, and given up so much. But to me that is the core of things. Reward only comes with risk and hard work. There are too many talented people out there to think you can do less and get more. And the way you conduct yourself matters. Sometimes it may be years later, but things come back to you. At my first photo related job, I went through a lot. It was sort of like trial by fire, but I learned invaluable things. And even though it was low-paying I worked really hard. Now years later, many of those people are friends and have really helped me in my career. But I also really enjoyed working with other photographers, and that is part of why I am enjoying WIPNYC.

So Amy and I have taken a risk creating this showcase for female artists. It is a big commitment and not everyone is going to like what we are doing. There have been some comments about WIPNYC, many people have suggested that we create more of a discussion forum or wish that we would select work that have a particular agenda, I am not opposed to any of these ideas, and if someone else wants to start that up – go for it. But we wanted to create a neutral space. As an artist/curator, I am more interested in showing work to reflect what artists are thinking. I want to show work that rejects, conforms or ignores gender concerns. Because part of what makes our culture so interesting is that gender issues are not uniform. Women are all experiencing it in a different way. Some of us feel very little sense of bias, and others lives are very much shaped by their womanhood. So I hope that WIPNYC, raises a lot of questions and that all of you try answer them for yourselves.

We had a scheduling snag the WIPNYC launch party is now Wednesday the 11th, 6-8 pm at Giano. Sorry for the change.

Hello everyone, sorry I have been MIA, I took a much needed weekend away, and have been working with my partner in crime Amy Elkins to get WIPNYC off and running. And today we went live. I hope you will all take a look and spread the word. And I’d like to say thank you to all the women who have submitted work. And to our amazing design team led by, Amani Olu, co-founder of Humble Arts. Our launch party is Wednesday June 11th from 6-8pm at Giano – 126 E 7th St near Ave A. It is a causal get together for drinks and food if you want to stay and hang. It’s a chance for us to celebrate.

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