Featured Artist: Daisuke Yokota

Are you nostalgic when you’re using a nowadays almost ancient and cumbersome chemical process to produce images? Can this be modern? Can you do something with this that has not been done before? Are you connecting to history or are you just stubborn and can’t let go? Is there such a thing as remixing an image, is reverb something that can be applied to optical waves and not only sound? Do you actually like to listen to Aphex Twin or do you only like to be a person who knows his name? Is this any good or is there life in photography after it has actually ended? And if it has ended, what does this even mean?


 

more on Daisuke Yokota on his website.

 

 

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Push More

I guess we all have to attempt to push the envelope more, to go beyond accepted boundaries, beyond photography merely as daily compulsive behaviour and try to really tell authentic stories. It’s the only way for me to see value in proceeding to make pictures – and posting them on social media.

— Bart van Damme in an Interview for TalkBak on the role of social media can play for photography

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That Naughty Thing

“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do… when I first did it I felt very perverse.”

— Diane Arbus

I picked up this quote from an Article in the Guardian on Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera. Since I got wasted by that sobering experience that is reading Susan Sontag’s “On Photography, I seem to be stumbling every so often on articles on the ethics and the perceived emptiness of Photography.

There is this interview on Bruce Gilden’s series “Two Days in Appalachia”, for which he got flamed big time as superficial and exploitative and violating the ethics of documentary and photojournalism. Like he’d care…

And then there is this article in the Huffington Post that bemoans the emptiness of what we got used to call streetphotography. Philipp Lorca diCorcia has his own, mostly indifferent, views on the genre.

And finally I stumbled upon this this disgusting video of Jason Lanier walking through an ethiopian church:

I cannot really tell you, what I found so disgusting about it: His arrogance, his ignorance off his surrounding, his bragging, his entourage waltzing through the church, the fact that he does not know anything about the oppressive system of the churches, that has hauntedEthiopia for centuries now, his gear-whoring. It probably isn’t that bad, and it only appears like it in the light of this black-clothed, ill-tempered woman Susan Sontag, who just seems to be disgusted with most of human endeavours. And rightfully so.

And to top it all off, I yesterday killed what’s left of my good, well-meaning, optimistic mood with watching Amy, the film that depicts the short life of Amy Whinehouse. It’s not like the paparrazzi actually killed her, she obviously did this on her own, but they certainly presented themselves here again as some of the more disgusting members of the human species.

Ethics – in photography or otherwise – is a continuum, with all lines blurry and no clear answers: but there are days, when it feels like the scale between making a picture or letting it be tips heavily into the direction of putting the camera down for good…

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The Bees

I had so much fun reading Laline Paull’s: The Bees in my holidays. And while you’re at it, stroll over to the MoMA’s Sculpture Garden to see the folks in action…

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Holidays

#201

Aschau, July 2015

I’ve been on holidays. In the mountains. As I was nurturing my constant shooting-crisis (why shoot? empty pictures? relevance?) that I’ve had for a while now when shooting on the street, working in the solitude and emptiness of the mountains came as quite a relief. So I shot mostly landscape, cows, dead wood. I was much more at ease with myself, compared to how I feel when I run the streets of a city. I’m not exactly a country type of guy, but this change of pace came at the right time for me.

Apart from just sitting there and looking at the mountains, I also brought some nurture: I brought a rather ripped-off reprint of William Klein’s “Life is Good and Good for You in New York”: The original seems to be out of print for a while now, and they also couldn’t get hold of the original printing block, so they just re-photographed the book. While it is certainly better to have this book than not having it all, the smaller format and the shrinked double-pages take away a lot of the power of the original. Still, one of the greatest…

Also brought Susan Sontag’s “On Photography”. If the book had been about food, it would have certainly have spoiled my appetite to the point of starvation. I’m not sure why she felt compelled to write a book on photography, when it is so obvious, that she didn’t like any aspect of it. She makes some valid points though; it rips some of the more pompous talks, that has become the cliché, when photographers talk about why they do what they do. It’s like a cleansing ritual – you probably have to go through some adversity like this book and when you come out on the other side and still want to shoot, than you’re really dedicated.

 

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