With the start of New York’s first photo festival, I got to thinking about the evolution of the ‘photo blog.’ Last night’s Tim Barber Tiny Vices show, featured several of the blog world’s mainstay’s and during the evening’s events for the first time I met people who knew me because they read Ground Glass. It was a pretty amazing experience. Afterward, a bunch of us went out to eat. Looking around the table, I thought what a diverse and talented group of people. But more interesting is how we had come together. Amy Elkins, Ofer Wolberger, Amy Stein, Amani Olu, Jon Feinstein, Will Steacy, and Corey Arnold are all bloggers, or are involved in the internet photo community. While some of us know each other from other places, many people met last night for the first time, but knew each other from online.
Then there is Andrew Hetherington, I have been telling him for months he is the Walter Winchell (inventor of gossip column and most important man in radio part) of the photo world. Now he is working for Foto 8 magazine covering the festival. Andrew is a great writer and his sarcastic Irish wit makes his blog one of my daily reads. He really has carved out a unique place for himself in the blogoshpere. The festival itself, includes a presentation by i heart photograph’s Laurel Ptak tomorrow at 5pm with Tim Barber. The fact that both Magnum & Aperture have blogs goes to show how important the form has become. Several blogging artist’s have already proven that they can blog and have successful art careers, Alec Soth, Christen Patterson, Brian Ulrich, Shen Wei, Amy Stein and others. Not to mention, blogging gallery star Jen Bekman, also in the curating 2.0 event. Joshua Lutz has work at the Tierney Foundation show, and has his first solo show at Clampart Gallery in September.
What does all of this mean? I have no idea, but I have met some great people and I am enjoying the ride. Perhaps the next great “photo movement” is not about a particular style or conceptual agenda, but about how artists communicate and share their work. All of the big movements in the past happened when loose groups of photographers formed and shared ideas and work. The WPA project, the Dusseldorf School, Szarkowski’s heyday at the Modern, 291, Yale’s MFA program in the 90’s. It is only a thought, but there is an awful lot going on these days online. Blogs are in a way replacing the underground art scene that made New York so vibrant in the past. NYC rents have made that world a memory, but you can take a chance on an emerging artist online. You can also build an audience. Without a support system, you cannot sustain an art career.
Speaking of which, we now have our site up for Women in Photography. The correct submission info is there and the first show goes up June 2nd – so stay tuned!
And if you are in the mood for something that reminds you of how the world functioned before computers, when we actually had to think and take time to do things in a very different way, there is a great show that opened last night at Cohen Amador Gallery. Japanese photographer, Masao Mochizuki’s strange, otherworldly images of television from the 1970’s look both modern and from a time that never existed. What took him hours of precise and methodical shooting, could now be done in ten minutes with photoshop, but I imagine would have none of the charm. If you are looking for a respite from the chaos of NYPF, it is just the spot.
41 E 57th St 6th Fl