Nich Hance McElroy, Rosa, Red Bluff, Montana, 2011
11x14”, Red River Arctic Polar Satin paper, signed
We blew past the line with the sale of George Underwood’s Rope Swing. Any pledge made from hereon out will extend the edition run and improve paper quality. Thank you all so much for the support… the reception has been overwhelming!
Look out for a final video we’re making, a short clip with a preview of photographers in the book. It’s coming out Monday, when we have just two days left on the clock. I suppose we don’t really need to make it anymore, but we’re doing it anyway. Besides, Pablo is doing a fantastic job with it and I can’t wait for you all to see it.
An Interview with Bill Strobeck by Quartersnacks
Stadium, 2013 from Collective Narratives
J. Wesley Brown’s vivid nighttime portraits of bus riders are a refreshing look at a seldom-seen side of Los Angeles. The city’s clogged interchanges are almost iconic, but for many people who live there, these bus stop dwellers represent an even more authentic feeling of home.
Wired is featuring my Riders series today. Shot entirely from a car at stop lights over two and a half years and with the help of friends and assistants who drove, Riders focuses on what to me is the most outward sign of class divide in Los Angeles - car vs. bus. It was an attempt at solving the problem of how to do a series of street photography about Los Angeles but at night with only ambient light.
I also just put some of the series up on my website. It would mean a lot to me if you’d take a look there also.
Alex Thebez of Lintroller purchased this one, and we couldn’t be more excited to make it and send it to him. See the rest of the covers that have been chosen here! The finished book (the off-set edition of Issue Three) will have a photograph on the cover, but it won’t be full bleed like these.
MY PARENTS NOW
Two photographs of my parents seen by me at night in 2013, taken in 1982.
Two years before I was born.
Alec Soth on photographing “the cloud” in Silicon Valley.
Mossless Magazine’s Mammoth Third IssueThe forthcoming third issue of Mossless magazine is a nearly 300-page volume of new American documentary photography that will include the work of more than 180 photographers. A number of history’s greatest photographs come from this tradition—shooting people and places in the United States, addressing hidden attitudes and issues that would have otherwise gone unrecognized. In the last decade, the American landscape has changed immeasurably. There are countless photographers documenting every facet of these changes in their everyday lives, and many of them are sharing their work online. The caliber of these photographs is sometimes extraordinary, the sheer amount of work online is staggering and this great mass of images can obscure even the best. Most publishers shy away from the online world because they feel the work has already been consumed, and galleries encourage represented artists to delete their online presence. But Romke Hoogwaerts and Grace Leigh, the publishers of Mossless, have continued to nest themselves inside online communities, compiling a huge sequence of photographs selected from deep corners of the web. They believe giving these images permanence in the form of a major photographic volume will give their readers a complete experience of not only the country but the online world of photography as well. And the best part is that they’ve done it all by themselves.
There’s a pretty stark generational gap widening in all territories. In China they call the young these days the Balinghou, literally Post-80s, a slightly crude term for the inattentive, selfish crowd of young we’d call millenials. But what one generation sees as destructive, we see as creative, one that shares a cumulative growth, whose conglomerate experience engages with all sorts of previously unknowables. We consume this information. We consume its visuals — so many that one could think the allegory of Plato’s cave might need another look as more people acquire a flame of their own.
We don’t even have to meet and discuss our works in person anymore, though of course to do so is good and helps. The amount we can engage with the works of others has been switched to “as much as you want” and we have conversations that we continue to have only through images that we share with one and all. I wrote in an essay titled Swimming in the Center of the Earth that we are all parcels of a big movement (though it is enormous and virtually beyond total individual comprehension) simply by virtue of being online and sharing our work with each other. Our individual practices speak to the larger whole. Our continuous visual conversations have provided us with our own patterns of visual thinking, and to some degree, we all together are forming collectively distinct patterns of individual aesthetic practices; reflections of our visual thinking, expressed in a formidable backlit spectrum of aesthetics.
There’s a book I’m very excited to read, challenging a lot of what’s for decades been a keystone of peer criticism and the expectation of an art audience. It’s written by Jenny McMahon, titled Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy, but is at the moment out only in hardcover (Yale is at present the closest library that has it, otherwise it’ll cost you $150). It is, among other things, on the sway collective opinion has on our personal response to art. That, essentially, our confusions of contemporary art are precisely due to its being so variegated, continually unrelated to other works. Your “sensus communis” is, at least in part, an operator in your moral and aesthetic thinking. I think that offers some very interesting insight into what we do when we share work online. There’s a good audio interview with McMahon about the book and I recommend it to anyone interested.
We’ve been applying this thinking to projects like our latest, Issue 3: The United States (2003-2013). The design of the book is basically one long sequence of photographs moving from one environment to another, with features where appropriate. The works had to be selected from over a hundred photographers to make this possible. In other words, we tried to form a path through the the combination of the visual thinking of many. Grace and I will be talking about this and more at our lecture.
[this essay was written in response to the prompt ‘Visual Thinking’ for Cooper Union’s NEO NY, where Grace and I gave a lecture in February]
Two weeks ago Grace and I gave a lecture about our theoretical ideas about the visual conversations we all partake in online, and how we sequenced Issue Three. We were asked to write an essay to preface our talk and to respond to ‘Visual Thinking’—this was my response. I think this is the first time I’m putting an essay of mine on here and I’m very nervous about it but feel free to rip it up.