Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The Atomic Issue of Daylight Magazine got me to thinking of several things. One was Carole Gallagher's incredible project: American Ground Zero- The Secret Nuclear War, an incredible decade long project of significant historical note that captures both the portraits and life stories of Atomic Vets and down winders who were adversely (to say the very least) affected by America's mad and reckless, atmospheric nuclear bomb testing in the continental US. All conducted by a government that considered its military, indeed, its very citizens, expendable. And no doubt, done all in the name of their ultimate "protection." The logic back then might of went something like- Best to bomb us here, in case we have to bomb them there.
Of course, the thing I still remember most upon first reading in '93 was the revelation by Marine Sergeant Israel Torres, one of several marines ordered into the detonation area shortly after the explosion of "shot Hood," the largest, dirtiest, thermonucleur (as in hydrogen bomb) device detonated in the continental US. In addition to finding dead animals in cages near the blast site- some also said they came across caged and hand cuffed humans... Proof? When they attempted to sue, many of these Atomic Vets discovered that they had no actual documentation that proved they were even at a test site- and the army sure wasn't supplying them any. They couldn't even prove they were there, let alone what they saw.
How many people would've believed The Tuskegee Experiment went well into the 70's, if someone hadn't finally blown the whistle. And I'll spare you the photo (for now) of Puerto Rican independence leader Pedro Albizu Campos, whose hospital room was bombarded with radiation as he cooked in his own juices...
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
...it is as impossible to confirm them (UFOs) in the present as it will be to deny them in the future. -Dr. Wernher von Braun
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The latest issue of Daylight magazine is nothing short of phenomenal! I usually think twice before buying any photo magazine these days, the content rarely warranting the cost. But at ten dollars, The Atomic Issue is a bargain for what you get- every short essay here is an absolute gem, and the reproduction values practically lush. This edition reads like a greatest hits compilation of (mostly) new and vintage work by: Harold Edgerton, Paul Shambroom, Pierpaol Mittica, Ramin Talaie, Jurgen Nefzger, Hiroshi Watanabe, Richard Ross, Yosuke Yamhata, Simon Roberts, Robert Del Tredici, and Carole Gallagher. A lot of ground is covered in this wee little volume, both photographically and historically, as to the the continued ramifications of our post atomic world.
You may even place this issue together with your fine art/documentary books...
PS- And there's a small treasure trove of photographic wonders to link to above.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Didn't buy that many books this year- not for a lack of wanting. Finally retrieving my pre-'98 book collection from NYC played a major factor, economics the other. That said, there were six that made my all star list:
1) Motherland by Simon Roberts makes it into the number one post with its epic but intimate portrayal of Mother Russia.
2) Class Pictures by Dawoud Bey- with all the hoopla about portraiture this year, I sure didn't see much reference made to this master portraitist.
3) Henry Wessel- this retrospective edition should have made my number one, the subpar B&W reproduction however took its toll- so unlike the nearly miraculous quality of the actual silver gelatin prints which helped make his exhibit at SFMOMA one for the ages...
4) Bible Road by Sam Fentress is a comical, lyrical look at religious signs and landscapes that leave me more than a little jealous.
5) Out The Window (LAX) by Zoe Crosher- (see separate post to come).
6) The Idea of Cuba by Alex Harris- portraits, monuments and car interior scenics that manage to go beyond the now customary Cuban cliches.
Anyway, one I do remember (because it was both so good and so recent) is Gone, Baby, Gone.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Then again, I can't help feeling it in many small ways everyday as one embarks on the "downward arc" of life's journey, and technology continues to spiral ever upward like the virus that replicates uncontrollably until it devours its host. And that said... great to be back!
Didn't think I'd be gone quite this long, and yes, I was (as predicted) in sheer and utter computer hell. The Mac I inherited not only couldn't run my film scanner, it couldn't run my sitebuilder software. After researching much, nearly useless information on various software and operating systems, after questioning and arguing with various 20 yr olds at the local Mac daddy store (who would supply contradictory info and answers on subsequent days and weeks), and after conversing with representatives from various unknown countries on the phone, I finally ended up having to buy a brand new pc- the very last thing I could have predicted, or afforded... only to find that Vista would also not accomodate my Yahoo sitebuilder software (still haven't checked out the scanner)!
Which brings me to my happy new home here in the "public housing" of blogdom. Incidentally, it was public housing that was actually built to withstand the onslaught of hurricanes like Katrina- and they won't be building much of them in New Orleans anymore. But I digress...
One of the unfortunate things, (besides all the extra work) about starting over is that there's no easy way to transfer all my archives- so I'll occasionally "repackage" those most relevant in a "greatest hits" sort of manner (eg- will soon repost list of favorite photographers). And it's nice to actually have a comments section, which I heartily encourage- except for the one asshole who always seems to pick out a particular site (of course, with my luck, I'll be "fortunate" to even have one of those).
Amazing all that's happened since 10/24/07 (date of last post on my ol' blog). Less amazing is what hasn't happened (ie- an all out jihad for impeachment over the never ending cavalcade of high crimes and misdemeanors from a lying president hellbent on starting WWIII). Which reminds me- what was the name of that General that said there wouldn't be a war with Iran on his watch? You don't think he and certain US Intelligence Agencies determined not to be made fools of again got together and launched a little preemptive strike of their own on the commander-in-chief! Nah, that would be a... conspiracy theory.
On the photo front, was quite surprised no one in the blogosphere mentioned the passing of Fred W. McDarrah, photographer and photo editor at the Village Voice for many a year. Personally, I'll always feel in his debt just for hiring James Hamilton, whose portraits of the famous and anonymous alike adorned the pages of the Voice throughtout the seventies and were like weekly tutorials on just how magnificent portraiture could be (with a 35mm no less)! Crying shame there isn't a book commemorating those incredible images.
Anyway, here's but a few notes of mention (some of which I'm sure you've already seen) from the past weeks culled from the hallowed list of notable sources already prominently displayed here:
How Photos Become Fine Art The view from the high road.
Danny Wilcox Frazier- Driftless: Photographs from Iowa
What I Wish I'd Known When I Started... ($$$)
Plagiarism v Imitation Your call...
Words Without Pictures Is Photography art? Again.
Truth and Photography- (again)
The Shot- the fashion version of the gang that couldn't shoot straight.
StoryCorps- audio documentation. Dave Isay and his amazing oral history project, the largest in the US!
I Don't Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier's Life
5 Myths About Terror
Torture's Roots in the good ol' USA
He may have a chance, but what of them...