It occurred to me that I couldn’t even define literature—not even to myself. I could give very erudite and intimidating answers to other people, the sort of bullshit that anyone with an English degree can throw up as a smokescreen, but I didn’t have a substantive answer that I believed in. I didn’t know why I liked the books I liked. So I decided I would throw everything away, everything I’d heard in college and everything else. I decided I would trust only myself—what I really believed and felt to be true. Which, of course, didn’t exactly occur overnight: it probably took the better part of 2004. But it was a very conscious effort.
That was when things began to change. I think of it as year zero, though it was actually year ten. The cynical part of me says, Well, maybe it could have happened some other way—maybe you could have kept the cushy job and kept writing. But I really don’t think so. I think you really have to stare down the demons. You really have to know what making art is worth to you.
“But isn’t part of photography about realizing the exotic within your own life and landscape, and recognizing the power and importance of it? When I get stuck, I tell myself, ‘Relax. It’s everywhere and everything. It’s all around you, and you just have to let it speak to you.’ It’s not about having to cross the great American West, or the deserts of China. You don’t have to do that. It’s right in front of your face; all you have to do is relax and breathe it in. Having said that, I have travelled quite a bit.”—SEESAW MAGAZINE: The Knights Move - In Conversation with Paul Graham
“The Creators Project party was as vague as the enterprise seems to be, which is probably the point: to lodge a formless but sticky alliance of the Vice and Intel brands in the minds of young maverick types. To graft some of Vice’s urban hipsterism onto Intel’s aura of capable PC chip-making. And to validate Vice with the technological chops represented by Intel. Or something along those lines. What I ended up seeing was not a rebirth of either brand (nor a change in my perceptions of either brand) but a vision of what happens when guerilla marketing meets social networking meets mega corporate funding. Results so far are undetermined.”—THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING? | More Intelligent Life
“By the time Die Antwoord, the joke rap group from South Africa, took the stage, hundreds of drunk, sweaty guests shoved each other into every corner and crowdsurfed. When the frontman walked into the crowd, a ring of massive, flashing Nikon cameras formed around”—Vice builds a big, sweaty hipster Carnival | Capital New York
“But it’s also situational," Baron said. "In the ’90s, it may have been considered weird to do a zine. But now, when every motherfucker I know has a Tumblr, it’s like, there’s something really boring about Tumblr! And there’s something really boring about Twitter, and there’s something really boring about a new website. It’s all we look at all day. It’s all we see.”—The new radical gesture: Repel the spiders from Mountain View! | Capital New York
“Markus, the primary shootist, is possessed of a few traits that have historically served people in his field quite well, evincing talents for flattery, patience, forceful composition, and tantrum-tossing arrogance. His delusions of grandeur are nothing less than effervescent: “A celebrity that gets photographed by us—it’s the ultimate moment in their career because they’re never gonna look better after.” Elsewhere, Markus tells the camera, “I like to consider myself the James Bond of fashion photography.” Though there can be no doubt that he does, he looks here more like a Bond bad guy. Shot from low angles, he is gaunt and monumental, and his hair glints a villainous white blond.”—Bravo’s new reality shows skim the lowlights of the art world and celebrity photography. - By Troy Patterson - Slate Magazine
“Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the songs of a bird? Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting people have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only a trifling bit of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can’t explain them. People who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree. Gertrude Stein joyfully announced to me the other day that she had at last understood what my picture of three musicians was meant to be. It was a still life!”—Picasso via In Which This Is A Miserable Fate For A Painter Who Adores Blondes - Home - This Recording
“Now when companies go trolling for images on Flickr there’s the possibility that they will run into a real license for something they want to use. For most major advertising companies the liability is too great to dip into the found photo pool so this is not a huge chunk of the pro business we’re talking about.”—A Photo Editor - Flickr Adds Getty Licensing
You’re work? You took a picture of a pretty building. No doubt it was a well framed shot. But let’s be realistic that shot isn’t going to make you famous, especially if you’re posting it on any website where the public has access to post their own pictures as well.
I just don’t get why this cockiness always comes from photographers. Is it really that prideful that you can press a button better than others?
Everyone wants to be famous. No one wants to do anything useful. Oh my lord, all this content is of such terrible quality. Everyone wants to write a novel, but who wants to read one? I can go down this road and worry that media inequality is like financial inequality. The haves get the have-nots to support the rights of the haves by persuading them to believe that they will one day be haves too, even though the vast majority of them will not be. But I also have thispopulist bent that I can’t fully explain—life has not done me dirt—and I’m naturally suspicious of prior restraint, as it were, when it comes to access to the tools of creation. People have always created, long before the mass media, it’s just that until recently you had to “make it” to become visible. That whole layer of avocational creativity was out of sight and out of mind, and—most importantly—it did not compete with the sanctioned cultural entertainments.
Now it does. This, not piracy or anything else, is what really keeps media executives up at night. What if they just entertain themselves? And we will and we have. It’s just that it used to require a lot of cash to broadcast these entertainments to one another and now it doesn’t. The best possible interpretation of this sort of accessibility is that it’s totally fucking punk rock. No limos. No stages. The performer stands inches from the audience with nothing to hide and no privileges to protect.
“People will often make the case, ‘We can’t be that stupid, or we would have been evolutionarily wiped out as a species a long time ago.’ I don’t agree. I find myself saying, ‘Well, no. Gee, all you need to do is be far enough along to be able to get three square meals or to solve the calorie problem long enough so that you can reproduce. And then, that’s it. You don’t need a lot of smarts. You don’t have to do tensor calculus. You don’t have to do quantum physics to be able to survive to the point where you can reproduce.’ One could argue that evolution suggests we’re not idiots, but I would say, ‘Well, no. Evolution just makes sure we’re not blithering idiots. But, we could be idiots in a lot of different ways and still make it through the day.’”—David Dunning via The Not-Knowing - The Awl
Today we are saturated by photography blogs but most are, in my humble opinion, extremely predictable. There are some good blogs out there, and blogs that have an incredible number of readers, but most are heavily oriented at gaining new followers rather than really revealing the truth.
I love blogs that give me a real view of what a photographer’s life is like. I love to hear the ups, the downs, the surprises and those intimate moments that make the person unique. These blogs are difficult to find.
“Like all visionaries, he spoke the truth. And no matter how comfortable we think we are with the truth, it always comes as a profound shock when we’re forced to meet it face-to-face.”—Scorsese on Kubrick. via Coudal Partners
“Post-Brooklynist: A friend had gotten fed up with the annual rent increases. He decided to tell his landlord off and move further into Bushwick. It was really satisfying. He hired an agent and they eventually found an acceptable place: about the same rent, three stops further out. When he went in to sign the lease, he encountered the same landlord behind a different desk.”—n+1: Post What? (via inorbitnewyork)