Singular Beauty: Available Now

I am pre-selling my first monograph through Kickstarter:  Singular Beauty (Summer 2012) The book is being designed and published by Hans Gremmen, co-founder of Fw:, a platform for Dutch Contemporary Photography.

If you pre-buy the book through Kickstarter (for a pledge of  $45 +)  you will receive your book delivered before it is available to the general public. And every single person who supports Singular Beauty will have their name listed in the final publication. Read more about other rewards and the book on my project page.

Kickstarter is an ALL or NOTHING funding model and I only have until Jan. 20th, 2012 too make a big goal. I know things are tough out there for a lot of us, so whether you can spare $1, $5, $25, $45 or $500, every pledge helps!  There are rewards for every amount.

GET YOUR COPY NOW

If you feel comfortable, please share this link with anyone you think might be interested.

Hiatus

Hello everyone I have been on an extended blog hiatus. I am going to keep GG up as an archive, and perhaps when I have the time and inclination will return. Thank you all for your support and for reading!

On Blog Exhaustion

It was funny for me to read Joerg Colberg’s recent post on blogs,  I myself have had a half-hearted post about the state of blogs lingering as an unfinished draft for some time. But not surprisingly with my current life, I never got around to posting it. My general feeling about photo blogs has been a bit negative lately–that is not against other people’s blogs, but towards the overly insular and self-contained universe that it created. While I think some incredible things came out of it, and I have made some real friendships, ultimately it was not satisfying the true need I had to be more engaged in the photo process with my peers. In fact, it started to feel like an impediment to my own creative process. The amount of energy and time that was going into Ground Glass, was sucking me a little dry–leaving very little time or energy to make pictures.

However after my recent experience of having a meaningful, engaged dialog with my peers in person, I left re-energized and brimming with ideas. In a way, not blogging has helped me finally really edit of my Singular Beauty work, it gave me time to finish my book and actually start sending out my mock-up, and it gave me time to make room for a new project. So as much as I loved blogging, I realized for me right now, I had to choose. And paying my bills and my own photo work has to come first. Followed by Women in Photography. There is not a whole lot left over after that. I wish I could be super woman, but sadly I am not.

But at the Young Curators New Ideas, II opening, I got into a conversation with two woman who are still actively blogging. I will admit I was a bit negative about the entire “blogoshpere,” but the next day I got a google alert and went to PalmAire, (WIPNYC artist) Tema Stauffer’s blog and realized that is it me that is currently experiencing blog exhaustion. Both Tema, and Tethered’s, Elizabeth Fleming, have really engaging, personal and intelligent posts. And other blog’s, like Horses Think, and Nina Corvallo’s blog, and others, have continued to be really great reads. I think at the heart of the blog, is the personal voice. For me, blogs that stay like personal online diaries, and have an certain intimacy and that focus on sharing information about a subject they truly love, work best. When blogs move into the professional media territory, they start to lose a bit of soul.

Once blogs become “professionalized,” to me they are less interesting. The internet is the great equalizer, it is a place where major news organizations compete with small individuals for market share and audience. Something that was impossible when you had to pay to publishing costs.  So I understand the temptation to step up your game, but there are so many blogs now from the mainstream press, why not keep the individual blog more personal and less concerned with blog stats.  Unless you want to become a mainstream media outlet, with advertising etc. Which, by the way, I am not against.

Yet blogs like PalmAire and Horses Think, remind of what a valuable part of the photo community a blog can be–and perhaps now that my first solo show is close to being completely framed and delivered to the gallery, I will again be drawn back to share some of the amazing things that have happened in the last few months. But until then, there are a lot of wonderful voices out there, you just need to find the ones you care enough to listen to.

Two Reasons I Love What I Do

While I know I have been not blogging very much the last 3 or 4 months, I have been immersed in my own work, in Women in Photography and in my day job. While I miss you all very much and the blog community, I have had so many great things happening I have decided to be ok with letting the blog go a bit until I can redefine its next incarnation.

But just so you know how I am spending my time here are two of the things I am happily immersed in.  More soon on my own work….

The loss of Polaroid has been pretty devastating to many photographers, it has had a big effect on my UV work, and I am still trying to figure out how to do it without type 54 or 55.  So when they said they were doing a piece on the loss of Polaroid at work, I was immediately excited to do something.

We put together an online gallery of the incredibly varied work made by photographer’s who use the instant film. And we asked them to tell us why they chose to work with Polaroid or what made it special. This meant that I got to speak to Chuck Close and David Levinthal about working with the 20×24 camera and email with Philp Lorca di Corcia.  Suffice to say, it was a fantastic experience.  You can see the gallery and read the quotes now on newsweek.com.

Picture 1

And today a new WIPNYC show went up with Lynne Cohen.  She has a new book out of all her color work, which is fantastic. This show is personally very exciting for me because Lynne is one of my favorite photographers.  I will never forget a few months into what would become Singular Beauty, my photo teacher Joel Sternfled, looked at my empty spa room and said, “I think you should look at Lynne Cohen.”  Of course after seeing her extraordinary work, I almost abandoned my entire project.  But after some time and thought, her work made me realize how important conceptual framework is to a body of work, and I also began to see how despite the similar subject matter, how very different our approach and ultimate goals were.

If you have a chance check out her show here.

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Lynne Cohen | Untitled (Submarines)


A Very Good Cause

While I am sure you have all already seen it, Joerg Colberg is holding a fundraiser for his blog Conscientious.  Blogs are indeed a labor  of love, and Amy and I have certainly discovered from Women in Photography how demanding and time consuming they can be.  And Joerg certainly treats his blog as a professional endeavour, all done for no compensation.  The reality of internet advertising, is that if you have less than a 100,000 hits a day, you really are not going to make any money.

So, if you read his blog and can spare $5, $10, or $20+ dollars, it is a worthy cause indeed.

Will Obama Bring Back the WPA?

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Dorothea Lange | Shorpy photo archive

The art world is a-twitter with stories about the possible resurrection of the depression-era public arts project, the WPA.  The program resulted in some of America’s finest photography. However, according to the blog post below, some Congressman do not think “artist” is a job, and therefore they should not benefit from the stimulus package.

What I find so interesting is the the recent Holland Cotter NYtimes article accused the art world of being overly commercialized and seemed to suggest that “artist” had become too much of a job.  Hmmmm….. where does that actually leave us?  Maybe if there was support for artists, they would stop making over-produced commercialized work, designed to sell and you know, pay their rent.

From the blog: The Artful Manager

Do arts jobs count as jobs? Scott Lilly at the Center for American Progress floats a timely reminder to the good folks in Congress currently bristling about the stimulus package: arts jobs are jobs, regardless of your opinion of what they produce. He quotes Rep. Jack Kingston’s (R-GA) remarks when complaining about the NEA funding (now removed) from the bill:

“We have real people out of work right now and putting $50 million in the NEA and pretending that’s going to save jobs as opposed to putting $50 million in a road project is disingenuous.”

Which suggests, of course, that artists, cultural managers, stagehands, gallery staff, technicians, costume designers, and anybody else involved in artistic pursuits aren’t actually working, or earning a paycheck, or supporting their families, or any of the other productive things road workers might do. Or, to put it more bluntly, arts workers are not ”real people.”

It’s perfectly fair to challenge the ”stimulus potential” of any line item in the massive bill. And there are legitimate arguments to be made that one form of spending or incentive works more quickly, more effectively, more efficiently than another. But this particular line of attack, suggesting that the arts don’t involve people doing jobs, is staggering in its ignorance.

Before we go railing off on conservative politicians, however, we might look for the same bias and blindness among ourselves. I was at a conference panel recently, for example, in which an architect from a well-respected firm with extensive cultural facility projects to their credit made an astounding admission: up until their most recent project, that involved direct discussion with a wide range of practitioners, they hadn’t thought of a cultural facility as a workplace. A performance/display space, an audience chamber, and a public venue, to be sure. Even an administrative office tucked away in the back. But the entire building as a daily workplace for professionals and tradespeople? A novel idea.

Perhaps that explains why so many cultural facilities have spaces that can’t be cleaned, lightbulbs that can’t be changed without massive machinery, and offices and common spaces that cramp and confound the folks who come to work there every day. Somewhere between our lofty rhetoric about the power of the arts, and our mechanical arguments about social and civic benefits, there seems to be a disconnect in our message. The arts are people. They don’t just serve people or help people, they are people. It’s astounding that anyone would understand otherwise.