Class "A" Office Building (2), Malvern, Pennsylvania, 2009
I am hitting the road in just about an hour for a week long photo excursion that will bring me back to the Midwest. Very excited for snow, to feel the cold that only the middle of the country can provoke, some new landscape, and catching up with friends in between. Things are going to be quiet(er) around here until probably into the new year. Have a happy and safe holiday everyone!
"Diego Rivera (paper, scotch tape, dirt on painted wall)"
For all of you out in CA, make sure you head over to the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard this Saturday to see a new work by the venerable Amy Elkins. Black Is The Day, Black Is The Night, is nothing short of moving. Put together through ongoing conversations with men serving life sentences or on death row, the series itself is great, but the installation she has worked up at the museum should not be missed.
"Big Print #6 (Jungle Leaves - cotton twill 1947 design Dorothy Draper, courtesy Schumacher &Co), 2007"
© Annette Kelm
"Big Print #2 (Maui Fern cotton "mainsail cloth" fall 1949 design Dorothy Draper, courtesy Schumacher &Co), 2007"
© Annette Kelm
"Big Print #4 (Fazenda Lily - white Background - cotton fall 1947 design Dorothy Draper, courtesy Schumacher &Co), 2007"
© Annette Kelm
• Don't miss The Edge of Vision, by Lyle Rexer. Some recent gems:
"(Frederick) Sommer was also a touchstone. In the climate of American Transcendentalism with a European inflection, the sense of possibility Sommer's photographs opened up is captured in an article written by Henry Holmes Smith: "Some persons will insist on asking 'What is it?' mainly, I think, because this is a photograph, and they have come to expect a photograph to report to us faithfully, directly, and in rather commonplace terms. To answer, 'Spilled paint, plaster, or powder, smashed putty and sprinkled sand' would be to deal with this image as a public report on an ordinary object and would be the most rudimentary and least important aspect of this reality."
Quoting Robert Heineken: "We constantly tend to misuse or misunderstand the term reality in relation to photographs. The photograph itself is the only thing that is real."
"As the chain of signification grows, there is ever greater willingness among photographs (in truth, they have little choice) to examine the medium's arbitrariness, self - sufficiency, and historicity - it's place in the history of human consciousness. Dumb photography is no longer a viable option."
• Long overdue mention of Noel - Rodo - Vankeulen's new body of work, Aura. Really wonderful, and GOLD!
"Aura #30, 2009" From the series Aura
© Noel Rodo - Vankeulen
"Aura #3, 2009" From the series Aura
© Noel Rodo - Vankeulen
"Aura #35, 2009" From the series Aura
© Noel Rodo - Vankeulen
• Dreamy Dreamboats.
• Chris Jordan's new series is one of the more poignant projects I have seen in quite a long time. Jordan has quite a knack for creating moving commentaries on the environment. I find Midway: Message from the Gyre a bit more powerful than Running the Numbers, because even though RTN was great, the images themselves did not make the numbers seem any less unfathomable. Midway very quietly and effectively shows a deeply troubling subject.
From the series Midway: Message from the Gyre
© Chris Jordan
• Cosmos, Carl Sagan's seminal series from the early 80's is absolutely phenomenal. Besides a whole generation of scientists and dreamers, it seems to have inspired everyone from David Lynch to Boards of Canada.
• And speaking of David Lynch, Grant Willing came up with a very nice image for the new Graphic Intersections project.
© Grant Willing
Finally, some more sweet tunes:
The new CFCF album is incredible!
Make sure to check out Milky Disco 2 if you are into that sort of thing.
Also, new: The Twilight Sad, Kings of Convenience.
- Hubertus von Amelunxen, excerpt from A New History of Photography.
Just got through looking at my freshly arrived copy of Mitch Epstein's most recent effort, American Power. Initial thoughts are that the scope of the project is huge, extremely ambitious, and every single photograph is beautifully executed.
"Lake Mead National Park, Nevada 2007" . From the series American Power
© Mitch Epstein
Very excited to hear him speak at PPAC next Thursday evening right here in Philly. I am specifically looking forward to hearing how he sees the seemingly disparate photographs in the project relate to one another, and of course his photo thoughts in general.
* For those of you who can't make it to the lecture check out this great interview with him here (video).
"Ocean Warwick, Dauphine Island, Alabama 2005 " . From the series American Power
© Mitch Epstein
"Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant, Herald, California, 2005" . From the series American Power
© Mitch Epstein
- Lyle Rexer, excerpt from The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography
"Seek Magic" by Memory Tapes is close to the best album I have ever heard, yes ever. It made it's way into daily rotation immediately, and requires at least one or two plays per day. Absolutely brilliant and beautiful, it is crafted by the front man of one of my favorite bands from Philadelphia, Hail Social. And although it pains me to say it, this solo effort is leaps and bounds beyond his earlier work as part of that band. So take a listen already!
* Two other incarnations, Memory Cassette & Weird Tapes, are very good as well, and definitely worth a spin.
Some other current picks:
Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: End of the Day (anyone who can drop blogging and hand sanitizer within a sentence of each other is undeniably awesome)
Foals - Antidote
Air - Love 2
Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper
Passion Pit - Manners
At the top of this list is the fact that most schools are no longer hiring full time faculty, instead they are relying on the large crop of eager adjuncts to fill in the gaps. This is not only detrimental to the students and institutions as a whole (except financially) but also to any future possibility of stability and a living wage for many teachers.
"In Vermont, 100 percent of the state's community college faculty are adjuncts, or part-time teachers. Nationwide, 44 percent of college and university faculty are now classified as part-time. Of these, fewer than 20 percent receive any health benefits or contributions to retirement. This is not just an issue at community colleges, however. At New York University, for instance, 80 percent of the faculty are classified as contingent, meaning they are working on short-term contracts as adjuncts or graduate employees.
About a third of adjunct faculty are "part-time employees" in name only. Across the country, professors known as "freeway flyers" or "roads scholars" are forced to teach full time by working part time at more than one institution just to gain an adequate income."
" The AFT believes that academic staffing is a critical component of student success, yet it is too often overlooked in discussions about how to improve our institutions of higher education. The lack of attention paid to the loss of full-time tenured faculty positions, and the overwhelming growth of poorly paid part-time faculty, has been taking a toll on higher education for many years. Today, almost three out of four undergraduate instructors are contingent rather than permanent full-time faculty members-contingent faculty members teach a majority of the nation's undergraduate courses. Unless we take steps to reverse course, this trend will greatly impair the ability of our colleges and universities to reach the national goals Congress has set for them. In fact, a growing body of research shows the correlation between the declining investment in faculty and the increasing problems with student persistence, transfer and completion. [snip]
Specifically, we believe it is essential that programs designed to improve persistence and completion, especially those targeted at community colleges, should include provisions that encourage institutions to strengthen their instructional workforce by creating additional full-time faculty positions or providing more stability and equitable compensation for part-time faculty. Such investments in the frontline educators-those most responsible for helping students succeed-are fundamental to increasing persistence and completion rates, and improving the quality of education at our nation's two- and four-year colleges and universities."
If you are a teacher, student, or anyone at all who cares about this issue, please take the time to go to the following site and petition your Senators. The site calls for more aggressive language, which I am whole heartily behind, but no matter what it would be great to get this ball rolling.
As far as I am concerned education should be the core issue. It is the only sure thing that can fundamentally change the dynamic of a society for the better. I am always saddened when I see great teachers being discouraged and disheartened because of the current lack of support. Please take a moment to help change this.
1.5 Million is:
Stefan Abrams, Amy Adams, Anita Allyn, Joshua Aster, Leah Bailis, Tim Belknap, Jeremy Boyle, Adam Blumberg, Frank Bramblett, Kimberly Brandt, Gerard Brown, Ian Burns, Mark Campbell, Anthony Campuzano, Sheryl Conkelton, Roderick Coover, Andrew Criss, Daniel Cummings, Kevin Curran, Micah Danges, Rachel Dobkin, Philip Glahn, Adam Grossi, Michael Grothusen, Walsh Hansen, Austin Heitzman, Jane Irish, Ianthe Jackson, James Johnson, Rini Yun Keagy, Thad Kellstadt, Karen Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kripal, Naima Lowe, Jacque Liu, Margo Margolis, Ian Markiewicz, Ryan McCartney, Jesse McLean, Dustin Metz, Chad Muthard, Eileen Neff, Anna Neighbor, Alex Paik, Nick Paparone, Richard Purcell, Pete Rangel, Justin James Reed, Isaac Resnikoff, Maha Saab, Rebecca Saylor Sack, Martha Savery, Dan Schank, Anne Seidman, Matthew Sepielli, Jennie Shanker, Mark Shetabi, Brandon Som, Dustin Sparks, Chad States, Jeffrey Stockbridge, Mark Stricker, Jim Strong, Andrew Suggs, Josh Tonies, Christopher Ulivo, Thomas Vance, Eva Wylie, Nami Yamamoto, Mauro Zamora
Exhibition Dates: October 7 – October 17, 2009
OPENING RECEPTION: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 7:00-9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Visitors welcome Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
Stella Elkins Tyler Galleries
Tyler School of Art
12th and Norris Streets
Lower Level South, B02
Philadelphia, PA 19122
As alluded to in my recent post about Charles Freger and Bill Sullivan's upcoming exhibition at Caption Gallery (opening tomorrow night), there is something new in the air.
POC (Piece of Cake) has come to our shores from Europe. The excellent group of photographers who currently make up their rosters are now joined by a budding network here, in North America. This appears to be an evolution of the networking that began in part through photo blogs, and in the forging of deeper connections both online and in real time. Most importantly though this represents the ongoing sharing of ideas and work in the photography community, and a concerted effort to bring us collectively closer. For me it is especially exciting to see the diverse nature of work being made in Europe, work that would be difficult to come across without this kind of communal sharing. These reasons, and for what the future potentially holds, make me extremely honored to be involved. Stay tuned!