An Interesting Piece from The Guardian Today

Hello all,

I found this article in The Guardian this morning. It describes how the Associated Press was one of the last foreign news organizations allows in Nazi Germany, apparently due to its willingness to cooperate with the Nazi government and only publish material seen as supporting their cause. I think it highlights some very important issues surrounding the curation, editing, and perception of narratives. The article highlights the effects of publications (journalism and photography) based on who conveys them and what they decide to include and leave out. Hitler’s Germany is perhaps one of the most extreme and horrifying cases of media manipulation, since we now know of the atrocities that it supported. An interesting and relatively short read.

Advertisements

Aerial View

The desire to use aerial technology as a “seeing device” dates back almost to the invention of flight itself. While Leonardo developed his ornithopter, a mechanical imitation of the bird’s vision and locomotion, later inventors made use of the camera in order to read the landscape from above. Whether for reconnaissance, weather forecasting, or leisure, a certain pleasure was derived from this omnipotent and all-knowing view. These 35mm photographs explore vision and perception from above—at the top of a skyscraper, and across the wings and ailerons of a long-haul airplane.

How, if at all, does our perception change with elevation? Do we become voyeurs? Was the project of aerial view, from the very beginning, a modernist aspiration?

Binocular_Prudential_LR

Wing_787

OpticalKnowledge

Engine_787

Atmosphere_Gulf

-Yusef

Natural patterns

A few weeks ago, we looked at some of the work of Andreas Gursky, specifically some of the large scale patterns that he did. Over break, I tried to capture natural patterns with the intent of forcing the audience to think about what they are looking at, to almost overstimulate them with a pattern of nature and have them not know what they are looking at for a second or two. In addition, I really want force my audience to appreciate the beauty of nature through intricate patterns. Enjoy!

IMG_3416

Inspiration from Dorothea Lange (and Jorge) #CRITIQUE

Last night, Jorge showed me some of the work of Dorothea Lange, specifically some of the work in her books where she takes normal everyday objects or scenes and then juxtaposes them with other similar objects to create a narrative. I found this pretty powerful and decided to experiment. I combined 5 photos from one of my shoots over break into a single wide image (below) to display something powerful.

To me, this image creates an impact because, growing up on the beach, the ocean is my “go-to” place. And when I was walking around this past week, many of the beach spots had fences or ‘private’ only signs, etc.. Then, ironically one of the places I found with a path to the beach was through someone’s private driveway.

I wanted to capture this idea of seclusion, even though we all share the same ocean. Specifically, I tried to capture this by having a single horizon line go through the entire photo. I’d love some critiques!

private beach

The Middle East on film

I shot color film for the first time in the middle east. I enjoyed the aesthetic and the opportunity to have a “burner” camera that I could bring everywhere and not worry about its value. Development was not cheap! I shot in total two rolls of Portra and two of Ektar.

1630001116300031163300041632001616330015

Some Beautiful Work Out of British Columbia, Canada

Fellow humans,

Perhaps as a result of my recent trip to the Lake Tahoe area of California and the gorgeous Sierra Nevada, I feel compelled to share with you today the work of Owen Perry, an artist residing in British Columbia, who I originally came across through his Instagram posts.

Below I’ve selected a few of his images that stand out to me. I think Perry captures images of nature that not only convey its stunning visual beauty, but also a deep sense of place and mood. This can vary from aerial shots of mountain landscapes to intimate, foggy forests. In a way, these evoke the work of Ansel Adams. Both artists’ work comes largely from the mountains of western North America, and where Adams was a pioneer in the genre of landscape and nature photography, Perry continues it and adds his own personal style that incorporates color and some surprising perspectives. I’ve also included a portrait of Perry’s that reminds me of my own work.

foggy-4_840

dsc_6131-edit-3_o

http://circa1983.ca/

I think Perry’s work also serves as an important reminder to keep an open mind when searching for artwork and beauty in the world around us. Although Instagram often gets a bad rap for being filled with mindless snapshots, with a little digging, one can find a plethora of artists who are truly devoted to advancing the discipline of photography and who produce some of the most stunning work out there.

Keep exploring,

William

P.S. I’m hoping to develop and print some photos from California in the next few days – A lot of the scenery reminded me of Adams’ Yosemite work.

 

WRITING WITH LIGHT

In preparation of the workshop on cyanotypes and liquid light…

The First Woman Photographer Captured the Elegance of Algae

Turbulent by Shirin Neshat

Turbulent by Shirin Neshat

 

Hey guys! I miss being in class with you all!

The link above will take you to an artwork by the Iranian Artist Shirin Neshat, one of the few modern artworks that really took my breath away!

A brief intro

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian visual artists who lives in NY “right next to us!” she is best known for her photography, film and video.  Her work tackles many issues such as Islam and the west, male vs. female, and privacy vs. public life.  She studied at UC Berkeley

 

This video, I was lucky enough to see in the museum of Contemporary art in Chicago, and I studied her work before in my undergrad…

I love how she depicted the idea of male supremacy and female inferiority in her society, I want to talk in details so i hope you see the video before you read my thoughts that follows

I admired the fact that the male is singing, yet giving his back to the audience, while the female is staring at an empty stage, screaming at no one, it is a very strong contrast, towards the end, the audience clap and cheer and the male turn to face them and bow to them then turn his back again, and keep staring at the camera, while the female intently scream more and more, but no one is there…

Another thing i find interesting is why she chose the male to sing in clear words but the female to hum and scream?

I find the movement of the camera very effective in both roles, in the male the camera is still, while in the female, the camera revolve around her, and the pace of the movement change with the intensity of the female’s voice

also, the way it was exhibited in Chicago contemporary art museum is that you go in  room with two projector facing each other, the male starts in one side, then when he is done, the female starts on the opposite side, i felt like it delivered the idea even more, it says much about balance between females and males, yet males take more credit, or they are more legitimate than females

 

anyhow, here is a photo of the artist

 

Ync5YJBS_YJrdeiEzsyLtg26985

 

TOUTE LA MÉMOIRE DU MONDE

Technology often comes in the form of weapons. The great Archive represents the culmination of information across France. What is it a weapon against? By storing everything, independent of value, medium or age, the grand machine seeks to undo change itself. The narrator acknowledges that much in the archive be accessed only once, if at all. But the collected knowledge also serves as a symbol of modernity and the undoing of human fallibility in the post-WWII era. More information may not be always better, but it cannot be worse.

I see my friends and coworkers espouse similar attitudes again, especially around the phrase Big Data. Now that processing power and digital storage grow toward infinity companies believe they can eke greater returns and better experiences by examining every facet of their interaction with the customer. This new Memory of the World sits distributed on its own micro-encoded storage in server farms. Every click, every action and every bit is held and accounted for. Facebook uses it to determine that changing its color of blue leads to better user interaction. But I am worried of the consequences from having my whole life’s foibles accessible electronically. Humanity is already bad at forgiving. What happens when we learn how not to forget?