Photographs on the Brain

Photographs on the Brain

Edited by Bryan Formhals

The problem with the photographs posted on Slate, Ms. Kenneally argued, was that they lacked context. Worst of all, according to her, was that the Slate headline emphasized the “P word” – “poverty.” “When you put a photograph of a young girl doing something and then say the reason is poverty, viewers separate themselves,” Ms. Kenneally said. She added that the word “poverty” introduces a moralizing element. “The whole purpose of the project is to find a new way to talk about these social issues,” she explained. Without context, Ms. Kenneally said, viewers were cut off from the culture and circumstances that define her subjects’ lives.
There are real concerns about putting pictures out there into this bizarre world. I basically made a pact with the devil: I’d trade control for exposure. My gamble is that getting the photographs seen and making them part of the culture is worth more than any risk of residual loss because people are downloading (stealing) my pictures. I know they are stealing my pictures. Let them. I’m betting that the payback will come from wide exposure, not from tight control. I don’t know (yet) if I’m going to win the bet or not. But there it is.
Arnold has been compared to a contemporary Robert Frank (or Frank’s mentor, Walker Evans) for his gimlet-eyed view of the city and its people, but his slavish dedication to daily shooting could be compared to that of the blue-smocked street photographer Bill Cunningham. He’s a full-time freelancer—pocketing a day rate for gigs—but it was a last-minute print sale that once paid the rent. Last March, on his birthday, he sold prints off his feed for $150 a pop and made $15,000. Forbes wrote about it. According to Gawker, Arnold is Instagram’s best photographer.
The pair is the primary creative unit — not just because pairs produce such a staggering amount of work but also because they help us to grasp the concept of dialectical exchange. At its heart, the creative process itself is about a push and pull between two entities, two cultures or traditions, or two people, or even a single person and the voice inside her head. Indeed, thinking itself is a kind of download of dialogue between ourselves and others. And when we listen to creative people describe breakthrough moments that occur when they are alone, they often mention the sensation of having a conversation in their own minds.




Trevor Paglen - They Watch the Moon (2010)

"This photograph depicts a classified ‘listening station’ deep in the forests of West Virginia.

The station is located at the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a region of approximately 34,000 square kilometers in West Virginia and parts of Maryland.

Within the Quiet Zone, radio transmissions are severely restricted: omnidirectional and high-powered transmissions (such as wireless internet devices and FM radio stations) are not permitted.

The listening station, which forms part of the global ECHELON system, was designed in part to take advantage of a phenomenon called moonbounce.

Moonbounce involves capturing communications and telemetry signals from around the world as they escape into space, hit the moon, and are reflected back towards Earth.

The photograph is a long exposure under the full moon light.”

fuck yeah Trevor Paglen dot everything

…More about life inside the Quiet Zone.

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