Monday, August 6, 2012

No Immediate Deadline...

Photo: S. Banos

There's been some talk about where photography's headed next, the next trend, the next new thing, the brand new cutting edge of where photography's going to take us and what we'll all be doing with our ever present, ever clicking cameras- as if we're talking about the next digital firmware update. And all of this at the same time that we remind ourselves that photography is, indeed, a most limited medium. 

There has been a general and long running insecurity that photography has absorbed from its critics and willingly bequeathed upon itself- as if apologizing for its very existence, while perpetually seeking out validation as a creative and legitimate counterpart to its more established, art world predecessors. Forty years ago photography couldn't compete with painting because print sizes were too small, the eighties put an end to that argument. And now, we've taken every supposed photo imaginable, eight times over, in every conceivable size and format. Only, painting got there first, as well... Is it also sweating how and when it will get to its next new thing?

Personally, I'm not all that concerned about this need for the new, or more exactly, I'm not concerned with the seeming rush to get there, as if what we have now is so utterly, totally inadequate, exhausted, or "perfected." Technology may be outpacing the creativity needed to master it, or more likely, like evolution itself- it leads us down many false or finite paths before the dust clears and we finally "arrive." Photography, as all other art forms, will evolve at its own particular and peculiar pace; it is not a particular style of music (dying or otherwise)- it is the music! And is the latter itself at a standstill? Forget jazz- rock and rap seem every bit the more tired than anything in photo land. Or am I just too old to hear the sound of the new golden age all around me? Another discussion perhaps.

Styles will always absorb, transcend and regenerate. One day technology may give us photographs that "open up" into interactive holograms. I may, or may not be around, and at any rate can certainly wait. For now, photography is, as it always has been, a medium so wonderfully and imperfectly suited to dealing with... the past.

I'm leaving for home (NYC)* this week- see the folks, catch a few exhibits and books, some pizza, bagels and egg creams. See yas in a couple of weeks... Peace, & Congratulations, Curiosity (BTW)!       * drop me a line if ya'd like to say hello...

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