Friday, May 30, 2008


Say, if you were going to be in Chicago at the end of July and had secured a little faculty development money to cover your hotel costs, where would you stay that would be convenient for drunkenly walking home from the MOCP? And what else, besides trying to arrange a drink with Brian, Todd, and Amy would you do while you're there? Other than a few airport layovers and a quick drive through, I've never spent any time there. Hoping to book my ticket today or tomorrow.

Reading this in the DART newsletter the other day almost made me choke on my eggs:

really exciting...

if i didn't have fifteen other things i need to deal with today

i'd follow my nose from here, an image i discovered yesterday while trying to find the phone number of my neighborhood grocery store:

read the comments on the flickr page.

Of course, that lead me to here, a slightly more academic (Arty) conversation about Gursky's picture.

Jorg's got a nice one here.

But of course, it's the auction price that draws attention, isn't it?

But I think this one's my favorite.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

among my many fears, i occasionally wonder what i might do if i were to lose my eyesight (or my trampoline?)

Paul Strand, 1916

And when that question/fear does arise, I try to assure myself that to a certain extent something similar could be done with sound. But of course, without seeing what's going on, it'd certainly be harder to anticipate when to press the button wouldn't it? Thus I guess I'd need to walk the earth constantly recording everything around me and then editing the juicy bits of interest after the fact.

The one-sided conversation from a 24? year old woman I overheard at school yesterday while standing at the coffee vending machine, waiting for my cup to fill:

Yeah, I've got two kids, 1 and 3.

Yeah, we met with a lawyer and he was all 'You've got to go through marriage counseling,' but I was all like "Fuck that" so last night, my husband and I sat down all calm and quiet and just talked to each other like this and decided that we could do it ourselves, fill out all the paperwork and negotiate everything together. It was easy. He gets the Playstation and I get the Wii. I mean, he wants the trampoline too, but I don't care about that. I mean, I can get another trampoline.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Many thanks to Bob, Chase, Mel, Leslie, Andrew, and Blake on my recent request. You've just planned Monday's class for me. Here's something I can offer in return:

It came in from a former student with "God's Love" in the subject heading, right after Chase's link to the nascent sexuality polaroid study.

Friday, May 16, 2008

help me out?

next week, in all three of my classes, I want to talk about photo projects that deal with history. I've got an earlier post here where I mention some examples that I like to use. Others include the thirdview site and maybe one or two of the other rephotographic projects (like Susan Meiselas' "Re-framing History," but I'd love to find something where someone is looking into their personal history, rather than our collective. I swear I remember seeing a project somewhere through the blogosphere within the past few months where the photographer was shooting sites of personal relevance. Anything come to mind?

google image search results for "winogrand" that weren't exactly what I was looking for

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Sunday, May 11, 2008

great expectations

hint: read carefully

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Photo District News is bad for me, but Mericle is good.

the kptv site, right now.

For awhile there, maybe a year ago, Jenny and I found ourselves watching the early news each night, the Fox news that comes on at ten. To a certain extent, we felt like we knew what we were doing, that we could recognize the fear-mongering, sensationalism and the self-promotion with their nightly updates about American Idol, but even with that sense of distance, we just could not get distant enough. Almost every day Jenny would wake up at four in the morning with her heart racing. Meth mouth, the juvenile justice system, the failures of No Child Left Behind, that kindergarten molester in Hillsboro, the gang-related stabbing down the street from here that of course brings up issues of institutionalized racism and segregation right here in the neighborhood so of course, we're somehow making it worse because whether we like it or not we really are the gentrification problem what with our desires for organic coffee and indy video stores... anyhow, there seemed no end to the list of things that we could, perhaps even should, worry about.

After a few weeks, we quit watching. And things got better. That is, Jenny still wakes with the same fears, regularly even, but at least with less frequency.

In a similar way, I just realized that Photo District News brings out the worst in me. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad magazine at all. In fact, I've long admired the way that it often deals with contemporary Art photography in an intelligent way, alongside a feature on a stock photographer from Ohio who's figured out that the key to efficiency (thus profit) is to leave the tripod and lighting in place and just change lens and your models more frequently. The problem isn't with the magazine, but with me. This morning I picked up one of the two issues that I've let sit over the past couple months. After flipping through half of an issue I realized that my mood had gone sour. I need to make new cards, I need to drum up more work, I didn't even submit to three of the calls I see mentioned, I'm jealous that guy's putting out a book, I'm bitter that woman already did, I'm old, I'm petty, I'm lazy, I'm tired... see, the thing is that after flipping through and feeling my blood pressure rise, I realized that the extent of my anxiety had everything to do with business and practically nothing to do with photography.

© Danielle Mericle, from Seneca Ghosts

For a salve though, I put the magazine down and picked up my favorite thing that came in the mail this past week: Danielle Mericle's Seneca Ghosts. This is a quiet book, a subtle book, a collection of what my students would probably dismiss as boring landscapes full of tangled branches and dirt roads shot on overcast afternoons. But of course, it's subtlety is its strength. Following an elusive herd of albino deer through a de-activated army depot in Central New York, Mericle's pictures question time, fact, and feeling. Because of the Cold-war depot's protected status, the deer have thrived. In a sense, these novelty deer are the direct result of our tangled political past, yet whenever we pick up the trail and come closer for examination, they vanish, leaving only traces. It's fascination and failure all at once.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

has anyone seen


I haven't. Does the printing look alright?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Boonville USA, Portland style

It's kind of like when you were watching Happy Days and the girls from Laverne & Shirley showed up.
© Timothy Briner, Gladys, Boonville, NC, 2007

That's right, as I type, Tim's on the couch catching up on his own blog/email/whatever and doesn't even know I'm posting this. In fact, if you add Jenny we've got three laptops humming along right now in the same room. Add some Yo La Tengo and we're practically an indy coffee shop. Anyhow, I had the good fortune to have Tim speak in two of my three classes yesterday and boggle my students with the concept of a modern day itinerant photographer living out of his Chrysler. It was really great...

I don't know if it was inspiring to them, but it sure has been to me.