Stuckism handy guide to the art world…. An act by an individual which interferes with an existing artwork is termed an “intervention” and the individual termed an “artist” if they are endorsed by a Tate curator or are dead. The same, or similar, act by an individual interfering with the same artwork (or even interfering with the interference to the artwork), if they are alive and are not endorsed by a Tate curator, is termed “vandalism”, and the individual termed a “criminal”.
This week’s Modern Art Notes examines the new Aperture magazine (#214), which explores the growth and evolution of documentary photography.
The guests on this week’s program are:
Hito Steyerl, featured in Aperture #214 e-mailing with Bard professor Thomas Keenan about the role photographs play as a document of something that happened (or may have happened). Steyerl is a Berlin-based artist and filmmaker whose work often examines the mass proliferation of digital images. The Institute of Contemporary Arts London is showing her work in the exhibition “Hito Steyerl,” which runs through April 27. (In association with the exhibition, Steyerl has created a two-part edition for free download. Check it out.)
Emily Schiffer, whose "See Potential" project is featured in Aperture #214. She has received grants from the Open Society Foundation and the Magnum Foundation. "See Potential" was a project that used documentary photography to address the neglect of Chicago’s traditionally black neighborhoods. Working with Orrin Williams, the founder of the Center for Urban Transformation, Schiffer designed a project that identified community goals and that solicited community feedback on potential changes in those communities. During the program Schiffer mentions the work of Tonika Johnson and Carlos Javier Ortiz.
Teru Kuwayama, who discusses his 2010-11 project “Basetrack” in Aperture #214. Kuwayama has received fellowships from the Hoover Institution, TED, the Dart Center at Columbia University and at Stanford. ”Basetrack” embedded five photographers embed within a Marine battalion in Afghanistan that was focused on counterinsurgency. The project documented the battalion’s work through photography and a specific, targeted use of social media platforms such as Flickr and Facebook. While the project is no longer on line in its original form, it is residually available at Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and especially at Kuwayama’s Instagram page. See the project "30 Mosques."
Talia Herman, a California-based journalist and photographer. Herman is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s Documentary and Photojournalism Program and has worked on projects for The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Google and Men’s Journal. Last week Al Jazeera America featured Herman’s work in "Getting By," part of the organization’s ongoing examination of poverty in America. As part of “Getting By,” AJAM asked people living below the federal poverty line to share their stories. Russ Bowers of Guerneville, Calif., wrote in, and AJAM selected his story to tell through his own words and through Herman’s pictures. Herman and host Tyler Green also discussed this image of the California drought.
“With their parallel lives, animals offer man a companionship which is different from any offered by human exchange. Different because it is a companionship offered to the loneliness of man as a species. Such an unspeaking companionship was felt to be so equal that often one finds the conviction that it was man who lacked the capacity to speak with animals — hence the stories and legends of exceptional beings, like Orpheus, who could talk with animals in their own language.”—The great John Berger (of Ways of Seeing fame) on animals and what our relationship with them reveals about us. (via explore-blog)
Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry Sometimes love is not enough when the road gets tough, I don’t know why Keep making me laugh, let’s go get high Road’s long, we carry on, try to have fun in the meantime
“The biggest thing I would say to my younger self were to have a time machine and go backward is: You have to have absolute humility about what you’re doing. You have to somehow know that you are capable of enormous idiocies and mistakes and yet not lose your self-confidence in what you’re doing. It’s a difficult line to walk because I know that writer’s block comes almost always from self-doubt. At the same time you have to know that this is a life-long learning process and you’re going to find yourself every 10 years looking back on what you wrote 10 years ago and feeling appalled by it. And that’s good; it means you’re learning and growing.”—Dean Koontz, and other writers, on how to write your first book – a fine addition to famous writers’ advice on writing. (via explore-blog)
“Documentary photography is becoming more illustrative as people become more familiar with photography’s limitations and vulnerabilities. Reality has always been interpreted through layers of manipulation, abstraction, and intervention. But now, it is very much on the surface. I like this honesty about its dishonesty. Every photograph has many truths and none. Photographs are ambiguous, no matter how seemingly scientific they appear to be. They are always subject to an uncontrollable context. This is a tired statement, but worth repeating.”—Taryn Simon in an interview with the excellent critic and photography historian Geoffrey Batchen about her work for Museo magazine. (via greatleapsideways)
“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.”—Henry David Thoreau (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)