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A Brief History of The Photobook Club

A Brief History of The Photobook Club | Photography Now | Scoop.it
This talk I gave at the Open Education conference in Vancouver (2012) tells the story of The Photobook Club in particular focusing on the importance of accessibility, discourse and experience. I hope you might enjoy it and share it.
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Photography Now
The role of photography today
Curated by Mario Pires
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Carlos Batts Fat Girl

Carlos Batts Fat Girl | Photography Now | Scoop.it

In September 2013, Carlos Batts published Fat Girl (Rare Bird Books) a collection of photographs of his muse and wife, the venerated feminist porn star April Flores. The photographs for the book were edited from an archive dating back twelve years, to the very first day they met. It was at a photo shoot. Flores still remembered how it went.

Mario Pires's insight:

The photographs of Flores are duets between artist and muse, they are soliloquies spoken and sung, they are poems of lust and odes of love. They are artist and muse made one, eternal forevermore. They are what remains when fate takes a turn for the worse.

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Words vs. Images

Words vs. Images | Photography Now | Scoop.it

What kind of pressure does photography place on the written word today?Aperture recently spoke with contemporary fiction writers Teju Cole, Mary Gaitskill, Rivka Galchen, Tom McCarthy, and Lynne Tillman about photography and the role of the image in their writing process.

Mario Pires's insight:

"I don’t especially feel pressured as a writer by the presence of images. I guess this is because I’m a very visual person and tend to express ideas and feelings with images, sometimes kooky images. The thing I dislike about a lot of images, say, online or otherwise present in culture, is that they tend to be flat and unimaginative, yet they have a strong visceral impact— and because they’re so omnipresent, people expect to be “talked to” in that language and it seems like they aren’t as open to a more individual vision. It even seems scary and weird to them maybe. But maybe that’s always been true. I don’t know."

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Ode to Light: Making Street Photography in a Cynical Age — by Amy Touchette

Ode to Light: Making Street Photography in a Cynical Age — by Amy Touchette | Photography Now | Scoop.it

The people of New York are what drew me to photography. The medium itself only played a supportive role. When I moved to New York City in 1997, my favorite thing to do was ride the subway.

Mario Pires's insight:

"After several years of photographing spontaneously on the streets of New York, I started to notice certain patterns. Witnessing so much diversity made me want to compile like people with like people to see how they compared and contrasted. I started making formal portraits of people I encountered who reflected these patterns using a medium format camera. I would introduce myself, give them some direction, take two frames, and within two minutes they’d be on their way again."

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Susan Bright, Independent Curator of Photography, New York | Photography Curating

Susan Bright, Independent Curator of Photography, New York | Photography Curating | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Mario Pires's insight:

DP: What are some of the main changes you’ve seen in the field of photography over this time?


SB: I’ve seen huge shifts and changes. The most obvious one being the development of the Internet in terms of peoples websites, blogs and so on. We are a just a much more visual culture then when I started curating. I lived the analogue to digital switch with photographers. I have also been doing it long enough to witness trends in the strategies employed by photographers; modes of presentation and theoretical arguments. Some topical and relevant and essential: others not so much. The photoboook fetish is relatively new, as is self publishing. One thing that has remained constant is the autobiographical desire with young photographers.

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Art Producer Turned Rep Tells It Like It Is.

Art Producer Turned Rep Tells It Like It Is. | Photography Now | Scoop.it

My photographers sweat this all the time. Projects get hung up on all kinds of things and they also get killed all the time, and sometimes that death is very slow and isn’t even recognized for months because the project was “temporarily” tabled and just never resurfaced. Traffic Managers close dozens of languishing jobs at the end of each fiscal year.

Mario Pires's insight:

"Quite often there is a clear favorite in a triple bid, and we have all been called for ghost bids before. But if someone is calling you regularly for bids even without any awards chances are it’s because they want to work with you, and not because you’re a soft touch for quick numbers. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, I’m just saying sometimes a client needs to see a new name in front of them a number of times before they will take the leap."

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Samantha VanDeman: Died Alone

Samantha VanDeman: Died Alone | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Samantha VanDeman continues her exploration of abandoned spaces with a new series, Died Alone, that examines environments where people spent their last days on earth.  It’s a sad, compelling look Born in 1982, Samantha grew up in Chicago.
Mario Pires's insight:

"With no one to claim the properties, most end up being owned by the state and sit vacant for many years before they are demolished. By taking photographs of these living spaces, I hope to bring life back into these spaces that society has forgotten about."

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Outtakes: Simon Roberts

Outtakes: Simon Roberts | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Outtakes is a series of interviews with contemporary photographers who have been asked to share alternate versions of some of their most meaningful, successful and celebrated images.
Mario Pires's insight:

"The fact that the paragliders are all above the horizon line certainly helps, but what I find particularly compelling about this final frame is their formation in relation to one another. It's as if they have created a synchronized pattern, with the group circling around the one glider seen in the centre of the frame; almost as if they are dancing in the sky."

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Special Books : #Sandy, Seen Through The iPhones of Acclaimed Photographers

Special Books : #Sandy, Seen Through The iPhones of Acclaimed Photographers | Photography Now | Scoop.it

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, altering the physical and psychological fabric of the region. Thousands were evacuated due to flooding, power outages, and fires, and major transportation systems were crippled. Emergency response systems and vital infrastructure were tested to an extent previously unknown in our region.

Mario Pires's insight:

"The photographers in this book chose a democratic and immediate way to share their work and their experiences with the world through photo-sharing software applications such as Instagram, which allowed them to simultaneously distribute their images to other social networking services including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Through a network of “followers” as well as such venerable media institutions as Time and The New Yorker, they were able to instantly reach a mass audience with real time news."

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Fabien Le Coq – Treesome

Fabien Le Coq – Treesome | Photography Now | Scoop.it

“Treesome is an invitation to lay down. To become the third actor of a scene with trees and skies. This project was achieved during various photographic excursions between 2012 and 2013.

Mario Pires's insight:

"In the midst of a long walk, there is a break. Time to rest and focus on the journey."

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Ryann Ford: The Last Stop – A Photo Book of America’s Rest Stops

Ryann Ford: The Last Stop – A Photo Book of America’s Rest Stops | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Ryann Ford has collected a great typology, depicting americana in the finest.  Over the last 15 years, she has traveled between 17 states while photographing over 75 rest stops along the way.  These stops, simple yet quirky, are a reminder of how endearing the road can be. 

Mario Pires's insight:

"When interstate highways were first built, passing up many small towns, rest stops were a way to reconnect people to the places they were traveling though. They gave small towns a chance to show their cultural significance. Rest areas have become relics of America’s roadside past. These sites not only illustrate a unique period in the American travel experience, but are significant for the architectural forms found within them."

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Special Books: Fosi Vegue, XY XX

Special Books: Fosi Vegue, XY XX | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Although many Spanish youth remain  worried about their future, an original and quirky photography scene has emerged in the country. Fosi Vegue, who founded the BlankPaper photo school in Madrid in 2006, is in some ways the “big brother” of this up-and-coming collective.
Mario Pires's insight:

"The exaggerated sensitivity used to cut out the subject also blurs and alters the message. This overpowering noise is our own subconscious, the mental sphere were sex operates as a catalyst for our instinct, our desire and our contradictions."

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Special Books : Legends by Marie Baronnet

Special Books : Legends by Marie Baronnet | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Looking for some older performers, I ended up meeting some show girls. The way they looked down on strippers got me quickly intrigued and interested. Outcasts are my kind, they try harder. From strip joints to Burlesque theaters, I went on a quest and met the “Legends”, these dominating characters of the quintessential American art of strip tease.

Mario Pires's insight:

"Together we have played a scene or two of the film of their life and in these moments I could see the changeling of me. As if in the making of all women were the intimate moves and rituals of seduction of the young girls we were. Moves that stay with us for life."

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Jake Shivery: Contact

Jake Shivery: Contact | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Several years ago, photographer, Diffusion Magazine and One Twelve Publishing founder/editor Blue Mitchell gave me the heads up about photographer Jake Shivery’s terrific work. 

Mario Pires's insight:

"What starts out as a simple concept-the photographs of loved ones in a common setting-becomes something much grander: a beautiful and thoughtful collection of souls ready for viewing. Working with an 8×10 film camera and printing in contact sheet form, Jake’s tools and approach are less about capturing a moment as they are about capturing a mood and a life. His photographs are haunting, intimate, and layered with pieces of visual narration that together tell the story of both the subject and the artist."

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Realism or Iconography? The Pentagon’s Implicit Theory of Visual Representation

Realism or Iconography? The Pentagon’s Implicit Theory of Visual Representation | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Here I wish to outline what the US military has made available for the public record about its social media strategies, and in particular about its “Flickr strategy”.


Via Nicholas Ripley
Mario Pires's insight:

"What is also remarkable about the “Flickr strategy” above is the implicit understanding that images contain a single, direct message, and that what is photographed, and how it is photographed, will determine whether an image is “successful” in supporting the US Army “mission”. In other words, photographs can only be understood in one manner: the intended manner."

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Justin Bettman: #SetintheStreet

Justin Bettman: #SetintheStreet | Photography Now | Scoop.it

#SetintheStreet is an ongoing art project in which Justin Bettman and Gozde Eker are building elaborate sets out of unwanted materials and furniture, most of which is found on the street. After shooting the photos, the sets are left up on the street, where passersby can shoot their own photos and share using the Instagram hashtag #setinthestreet.

Mario Pires's insight:

"While some sets have survived for more than a week and have been hashtagged by nearly 100 people, others were picked apart or removed altogether in a matter of hours. There are no expectations for what happens to the sets once they are built, but that is part of the fun. Some pieces of the sets have disappeared while other items are added."

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Duane Michals - ABCD, M for Magritte and more...

Duane Michals - ABCD, M for Magritte and more... | Photography Now | Scoop.it
 Duane Michals new bookwork - ABCD Duane - relates with his typical humour and wisdom, intimate themes of his life and art.
Mario Pires's insight:

"Magritte never disappointed. He transcended the obvious cultural cliches. All authentic artists invent their own mystery; they refuse to regurgitate a public domain vocabulary. One cannot duplicate their uniqueness. When I see a Magritte painting I know that nobody else could have come up with that particular notion, as private as poetry."

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Jane Bown 1925-2014

Jane Bown 1925-2014 | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Jane Bown at home, surrounded by some of her photographs.
We are reached this morning with news of the death of the great Jane Bown.
Mario Pires's insight:

Observer Editor John Mulholland, quoted in the Guardian obituary, said "her contribution to the paper’s history, as well to Britain’s artistic legacy, is immense, and will long survive her. She was loved by her colleagues and adored by our readers. We will miss her hugely."

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Sandra Calligaro Afghan Dream

Sandra Calligaro Afghan Dream | Photography Now | Scoop.it

The series Afghan Dream is a long-term project I have been working on since 2011. Having lived for several years in Kabul, I wanted to record the experience of daily life in the city through my eyes as an author. 

Mario Pires's insight:

"My goal was to show the  new middle class  of Kabul in the most ordinary way possible, providing an alternative to the sensational tone of the media, which focuses primarily on conflicts. A mother helps her daughter to do her homework. Teenagers chat on their smartphones. A family watches television. These situations underline the similarities between their culture and the viewer’s."

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Zoé Forget Wall Paper

Zoé Forget Wall Paper | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Wall Paper is a series realized as part of the duo "The strong Thorns" created by the photographer Zoé Forget and designer Delphine Ciavaldini.
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When to Hold ’Em and When to Fold ’Em A Conversation with Alec Soth

When to Hold ’Em and When to Fold ’Em A Conversation with Alec Soth | Photography Now | Scoop.it

In June 2014, I had the opportunity to visit with photographer, publisher, and increasingly multidisciplinary artist Alec Soth at his home base in Minneapolis, courtesy of the McKnight Foundation—a longtime patron of Soth’s work, including his most recent project, the LBM Dispatch. In addition to getting a tour of Soth’s Little Brown Mushroom headquarters, we also talked about the nature of an evolving photographic practice, the challenge to find new forms for his work, and the sustainability of the current pace of photobook publishing

Mario Pires's insight:

" I was attracted to photography and the photobook because it allowed me to approach storytelling in an oblique way. I still love this about the medium. But over the years, I’ve also been pushed and shoved into the role of public speaking. After giving countless slideshow talks about my work, I started to see the creative potential of the form. In order to learn more about it, I created the Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers. Fifteen artists from around the world came to my studio and essentially taught me about the huge potential of this medium."

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The Glass Ceiling and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Legs

The Glass Ceiling and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Legs | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Presenting “leading lights from the worlds of technology, business, media, and entertainment,” Vanity Fair’s business feature served up this group portrait from the “Code Conference,” hosted by tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg in Palos Verdes.  Though the guest list (below or on the original page) nominally represents a cross-section of fields, the players, along with the branding, skew digital so it also has a Silicon Valley vibe.

Mario Pires's insight:

What is the first thing you notice on this photograph ? What part of it you keep coming back ? It's just a small part of the whole picture and it's not blue.

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Camille Seaman: Melting Away

Camille Seaman: Melting Away | Photography Now | Scoop.it
“There is a numinous and extraordinary presence in Camille’s work. In it, we see the difference between nature photography and art. It is the gift of every great photographer to show us what was concealed and invisible to our minds.
Mario Pires's insight:

"She watched firsthand the devastation on the polar bears and local birds caused by melting ice and warming seas. These are already taking their toll on non-Arctic regions, including the larger and more frequent storms in the U.S., such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Seaman concludes that going on these expeditions is being a good mother because she wants to protect the world her daughter will grow up in."

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Naissance de la Kodak Girl (1/2) | Les femmes et la photographie

Naissance de la Kodak Girl (1/2) | Les femmes et la photographie | Photography Now | Scoop.it

Lorsqu’en 1885 George Eastman commercialise le premier film négatif basé sur du celluloïd transparent et flexible, coupé en bande étroite puis enroulé, il annonce un bouleversement sans précédent sur le marché mondial de la photographie.

Mario Pires's insight:

"La femme qui a un appareil photo vit nécessairement une vie pleine de choses à photographier, à saisir… La photo est l’événement et elle se déplace, voyage, rencontre, à la recherche de l’événement… Elle découvre le monde à travers l’objectif de son Kodak. L’appareil devient prétexte à l’aventure et à la découverte du monde dont la femme est la spectatrice émancipée, promue par les slogans Kodaks dont l’évolution est un sujet d’étude à lui seul."

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“Things I Want To Remember…”

“Things I Want To Remember…” | Photography Now | Scoop.it
Marion Berrin (born 1982) is a French contemporary photographer currently based in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Mario Pires's insight:

"I used to shoot and assemble images afterwards. If they worked together it was fine. I now do the complete opposite. I throw an idea, put a concept on the table and then shoot it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but I learn a lot from it."

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What is a photograph ? - Thoughts of a Bohemian

What is a photograph ? - Thoughts of a Bohemian | Photography Now | Scoop.it
In a quest to define " what is a photograph ? " , I reached out to some of my distinguished colleagues. Here are their answers :
Mario Pires's insight:

A 2 dimensional representation of what is in front of a wavelength capturing device - Mário Pires, visual comunicator

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